Hundreds of local families hit by ‘two-child’ benefit cap

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A total of 745 families and more than 2,450 children across Argyll and Bute could be affected by the two-child cap, according to new research, prompting more calls for the UK government to scrap the ‘heartless’ policy.

In total, some 3,500 families and almost 13,000 children across the Highlands and Islands in total would be hit, according to Kate Forbes, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch.

The Westminster government’s ‘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 3,000,000 children could eventually be affected by the benefit cap.

Ms Forbes said: ‘Social security should be a safety net for all of us, but the two-child limit is having a staggering impact upon families up and down the country, with almost 13,000 children across the Highlands and Islands 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, it is introducing a Scottish Child Payment to tackle child poverty. Without the two-child cap, this payment could go so much further.

‘The next Tory Prime Minister should make it a priority to tackle poverty and enable children to thrive, starting with reversing the two-child limit and horrendous “rape clause”.’