Two child limit | CPAG

Two child limit

Two child limit challenge

R (SC and Ors) v SSWP [2021] UKSC 26
This was a challenge to the two child limit, introduced by the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016, which restricts support for children in families claiming child tax credit or universal credit to the first two children (subject to limited exceptions). The limit applies to families where the third or subsequent child is born after 5 April 2017. The legal challenge was partially successful in the High Court but an appeal to the Court of Appeal on the lawfulness of the overall policy was unsuccessful. An appeal to the Supreme Court was heard remotely across 20-22 October 2020 and judgment was handed down on 9/7/21 dismissing the appeal.

Post-COVID policy: child poverty, social security and housing

20 July 2021
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the life of every child and their family in the country. Families with children have been among the worst affected, with job losses and increased costs of living from repeated lockdowns and school closures, causing many families to struggle financially. The pandemic has made life much harder for low-income households, those already living in insecure housing and at risk of homelessness, and those with precarious immigration status.

Official figures: number of families affected by two-child limit reaches 318,000

15 July 2021
Official figures out today show the number of families affected by the two-child limit in universal credit and tax credits jumped by 67,000 in the year to April 2021 to reach 318,000. 1.1 million children are now affected by the policy, up from 900,000 in April 2020.

“We feel like we're slowly sinking.”

15 July 2021
Families affected by the two-child limit, who now number 318,000, are struggling to get by. Some have told us they are having to cut back on essentials such as the quality and quantity of food, and replacing worn out clothing and shoes. This policy, which restricts support in universal credit and tax credits to two children, is driving up child poverty, and harming childhoods and life chances. 1.1 million children are now affected.

Understanding the latest data on the two-child limit

15 July 2021
The data out today shows that, in April 2021, 1.1 million children were affected by the two-child limit – 237,000 more than the previous year.

Supreme Court decision on two-child limit

09 July 2021
A hugely disappointing judgment which fails to give any meaningful recognition to the reality of the policy on the ground and its desperately unfair impact on children.

Statement on Supreme Court decision on two-child limit

09 July 2021
Commenting on today’s Supreme Court decision not to allow an appeal on the two-child limit brought by two lone mothers and their children, Carla Clarke, Head of Strategic Litigation at Child Poverty Action Group, which represented the mothers and children, said: "This is a hugely disappointing judgment which fails to give any meaningful recognition to the reality of the policy on the ground and its desperately unfair impact on children."

‘Other people don’t have to think about which kid they love the most that month’: the realities of everyday life on the benefit cap and two child limit

11 June 2021
Since April we’ve been interviewing larger families who are subject to the two child limit and/or benefit cap as part of the Benefit Changes and Larger Families project. We’ll be interviewing many more families over the next 18 months, but already after 11 interviews it is striking how much common ground there is in larger families’ experiences of negotiating life on a low-income.

It feels as though my third child doesn't matter

07 April 2021
This joint report from CPAG, the Church of England and the Welfare Reform and Larger Families research project presents the latest estimates of the number of families affected by the two-child limit, and provides an insight into the impact of the policy using survey data from families directly affected by it. It is a continuation of a series of annual reports tracking the impact of this policy over time.

Our 2021 Budget submission

09 February 2021
CPAG's submission to the UK government ahead of the 2021 Budget.