13.1% of the total number of children in Edinburgh could be affected by the two-child cap, according to new
research – prompting more calls for the UK Government to scrap the “heartless” policy.

The “two-child policy” allows low-income families to claim child tax credits or universal credit for their first two children only.

New research from the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has revealed that 160,000 families have had their income slashed by the two-child limit to-date. The charity estimates that more than 3 million children across the UK could eventually be affected by the benefit cap.

Gordon Macdonald MSP PHOTO Martin P McAdam

SNP MSP Gordon Macdonald said: “Social security should be a safety net for all of us, but the two-child limit is having a devastating effect on families up and down the country, with 10,305 children in Edinburgh set to be affected by it.

“All families are valuable and worthy of support, but this heartless policy turns people away when they most need support, and leaves children to grow up in hardship – which can have lifelong consequences for their health and wellbeing.

“The SNP government has been left to pick up the pieces, investing over £125 million to mitigate callous Tory welfare policies.

“In addition, the Scottish Government is introducing a Scottish Child Payment to tackle child poverty. Without the two-child cap, this payment could go so much further.

“We have an ageing population and we will be relying on children and young people in the years to come.

“The next Tory Prime Minister should make it a priority to tackle the unacceptable levels of poverty we are seeing as a direct result of the UK Government’s welfare policies, starting with reversing the two-child limit and horrendous ‘rape clause.”

Map by parliamentary constituency –

*This map shows data on the number of families with three or more children – and the number of children living in these families – who are claiming child tax credits in each parliamentary constituency, which was obtained through a Freedom of Information request to HMRC (FOI2018/02694). It is assumed that a similar number of families with three or more children will require support in these constituencies in the years to come. (Eventually, all families with three or more children who claim child tax credits or universal credit will become subject to the limit, as more families with three or more children include at least one child born after April 2017.)