Unhappy Birthday! The two-child limit at one year old

Post date: 
06 April 2018

Alongside the Church of England we have produced a report looking at the two-child limit policy one year after its introduction. 

The full impact of the policy has yet to be seen. After the first year of implementation, around 160,000 families with new born babies are now up to £2,780 a year worse off than if their youngest child had been born in the previous year. From February next year, the two-child limit will also apply to families with three or more children who fall on hard times and make a new claim for universal credit, irrespective of when their children were born. By 2020/21, an estimated 640,000 families, including around 2 million children, will be affected by this policy. 

The report argues that the two-child limit combined with the freeze on children’s benefits is the most damaging welfare reform on children’s outcomes, driving the sharp projected rise in child poverty over the next few years. At least 200,000 more children and their families will be pushed into poverty by the time it is fully implemented.