West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has joined with UNISON in backing the parliamentary petition calling for the repeal of the two-child limit to Tax Credits and Universal Credit.
The petition created by former UNISON President Margaret McKee, who works as a catering assistant in Northern Ireland, points to the glaring injustice and believes child poverty will worsen as a result.
UNISON reports that following the 2015 general election, the then Chancellor, George Osborne announced that the child element in Child Tax Credits and the equivalent element in Universal Credit – worth £2,780 a year – will be limited to two children for new claims and births from 6 April 2017.
And according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) removing the £545 ‘family element’ will ultimately affect around 4 million families over time.
MP Rosie is encouraging constituents to support the petition so as the government are mandated to formally respond, or so it is considered for debate in Parliament.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:
“The two-child limit is a blatant attack on families, an attack on children both born and unborn and an attack on women.
“It is reported that abusers often use pregnancy, poverty and financial dependence as means of establishing control over victims. This policy will enforce and facilitate that control.
“The government has no electoral mandate for this policy!
“I am encouraging all West Lancashire constituents to sign this petition so the government must give the policy serious consideration through a formal response or debate in Parliament.
“Churches, the Child Poverty Action Group, and Women’s Aid have all come out against this policy and the Equality and Human Rights Commission have been highly critical, it’s time the government listened.
“The Work and Pension Secretary Amber Rudd’s recent announcement only means those families with more than two children prior to 2017 will not suffer, but that still leaves children and families struggling who happen to have had a third child since 2017.”
UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:
“The two-child limit is completely and utterly wrong. There is no place for measures like this in any decent and caring society. Families who are struggling should be able to get help, not based on the number of children they have, but on their level of need.
“Households with three or more children are quite simply being forced into poverty. I urge everyone to sign our petition, and convince ministers to think again about this harsh, heartless decision.”
Visit https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/233887 to sign the petition.
Repeal the two child limit to Tax Credits and Universal Credit.
It is a glaring injustice. It breaks the link between the assessment of children’s needs and the support they receive.
It will worsen child poverty.
Not all women have control over their reproductive destiny. Compulsory disclosure requirements will re-traumatise rape victims.
Many women will never disclose rape to anyone. Reasons include trauma, self-protection, shame, and fear for others – including their child. To force them to do so is cruel and risks danger.
There is already evidence that it is influencing decisions on pregnancy termination.
How could it be paid for?
The Government says the two child limit will save just over a £1bn in 2019/20. Since the policy was announced, OBR forecasts for spending on personal tax credits in 2019/20 have reduced by £2.2bn.
Created by Margaret McKee