Frank Field calls for investigation into ‘grossly unjust’ penalties imposed by two-child limit
BIRKENHEAD MP Frank Field is seeking an urgent inquiry into the effects of the two-child limit and whether it disproportionately impacts families belonging to different faith groups.
The policy restricts Child Tax Credits and the child element of Universal Credit to the first two children in each family.
On the back of his recent casework, in which Catholic families in Birkenhead have lost out financially, Mr Field wishes to see whether this policy unfairly discriminates against faith groups, which typically have larger families as a result of their beliefs about birth regulation.
In December 2018, the Work and Pensions Select Committee, which Mr Field chairs, conducted an initial inquiry into the effects of this policy.
In response to the Committee’s recommendation, Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, announced in January that children born before the system began in 2017 would remain exempt. But it is predicted that the cap could drive 300,000 families into poverty.
The Work and Pensions Select Committee is currently looking at the impact of the two child limit on families in Northern Ireland, and will launch a wider inquiry into the two child limit later this summer.
Mr Field will also be writing to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission to ask them to launch an investigation into whether the two-child limit constitutes religious discrimination.
"I believe this policy is grossly unjust and blatant discrimination against certain sorts of families", said Mr Field.
"I will be pressing for it to be scrapped as a matter of urgency."
If you are a person of faith and feel you have been affected by this cap on child benefits, Frank would love to hear from you. You can email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.