Kate has signed a letter to the Prime Minister, calling on her to scrap a policy which will leave local low-income families with more than two children worse off.
In April 2017, the government introduced a “two child limit” policy which limited the level of financial support available through Child Tax Credits to two children per family. This meant that any families getting financial support wouldn’t receive any additional money for any child born after April 2017.
And from February 2019, all households making a new claim for Universal Credit won’t be able to receive financial support for any more than two children, no matter when their children were born.
This means that families with three or more children, even those who’ve had children before the policy changed, will be penalised if they have to make a fresh Universal Credit claim because of any unpredictable events, including redundancy, illness or separation.
According to Church of England statistics, the policy leaves families with more than two children around £4,000 per year worse off on average, while it is expected to tip an estimated 200,000 children into poverty across the country.
In Kate’s constituency of Stretford and Urmston, 4,800 children who currently benefit from tax credits could be affected by the policy. 70% of those on low incomes who currently claim tax credits are working.
The letter to the Prime Minister, which copies in the Chancellor, Philip Hammond and the Work and Pensions Secretary, Esther McVey, has been signed by Kate ahead of the Chancellor’s budget on 29th October.
Written by Rushanara Ali, MP the letter highlights how “Evidence shows that this policy is unlikely to have a significant impact on parents’ decisions about family size – and, by making families poorer, it will have a detrimental impact on their children’s health and education outcomes, negatively impacting on their well-being and future life chances.”
Kate said: “I’m disgusted by this heartless two child policy. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and family circumstances can change, but every child should have the very best start in life. It’s utterly immoral for the government to decide that some children deserve support and some don’t. ”