BASW repeats call to scrap the two-child cap
Abolishing the two-child benefit cap is a key ask of BASW’s campaign- Social Work Stands Against Poverty- which calls on policymakers to provide greater support for those being hardest hit by increasing cost-of-living pressures.
The two-child benefit cap prevents parents from claiming child tax credit or universal credit for any third or subsequent child born after April 2017. It currently affects approximately 1.5million children across the UK.
Recent research from the End Child Poverty campaign revealed that removing the cap would lift around 250,000 children out of poverty altogether, with a further 850,000 in less deep poverty. However, UK Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, recently said that his party would not automatically end the policy should he become the next Prime Minister, citing the need to make ‘tough decisions.’
Social workers see the devastating impact of this cruel and unjust policy on people’s lives every day. It is a key driver of deepening poverty levels across the UK, leading to increased instances of social work intervention, especially in child protection.
BASW is therefore adamant that the policy must be binned.
The letter, addressed to the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Jon Ashworth MP, urges Labour to make tackling poverty a priority if they become the next government, with scrapping the two-child cap “an excellent first step” in this mission. It goes on to say that:
“We understand that there will be tough decisions ahead for the next Government due to the financial picture, but the two-child cap pushes people into poverty. Poverty puts limitations on a person’s ability to thrive and life a happy and healthy life. Financial welfare assistance for additional children is for the needs of children, who cannot decide what family they are born into. Legal rights of children should be upheld, and they should not be forced into additional risk of poverty by a policy aimed at punishing or disincentivising parents from having children.”
BASW will continue to engage proactively with politicians from all parties on our campaign asks, including for the two-child cap to be scrapped. You can read more about our campaign, including our recently updated Anti-Poverty Practice Guide for social workers.