October 27, 2018 Media

End the two child cap

27th October 2018

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has written to the Chancellor calling for an end to the two child cap in the budget this coming Monday.

The two child cap restricts the child element of Universal Credit and Child Tax Credits to two children meaning families with at least three children will lose up to £2,780 each year per child who does not qualify – affecting around 3,800 families in Scotland.

This week in Holyrood, Tory Social Security spokesperspon Michelle Ballantyne called the cap fair:

The cap has also led to the rape clause, where women have the prove to the government that their child is a product of rape to claim support. Earlier this year, Tory Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey claimed the clause led to extra support for women:

The 2 child cap should end. Here’s Richard Leonard’s letter to the Chancellor

Dear Chancellor,

It has been widely reported that the forthcoming budget will finally end the age of austerity that Britain has lived under for eight years now. If that is the case, the budget must end the two-child cap on tax credits.

No single policy sums up the immorality of the age of austerity better than the two-child cap. To punish families by limiting how much support they can get by their number of children is simply wrong.

In its first year this policy has impacted on 3,800 households in Scotland, and the numbers of the families affected will only grow.

This year, those families with three children will lose up to £2,780 per child who does not qualify.

This week the Scottish Parliament was stunned into silence as a Member of the Scottish Parliament claimed the policy is ‘fair’, saying it is ‘fair that people on benefits cannot have as many children as they like’.

That comment would be utterly repulsive in any era, but at a time when 1 in 4 children in Scotland is living in poverty it shows your party to be completely out of touch with the lives of families across the UK.

The cap also led to the rape clause. The Work and Pensions Secretary previously told the Scottish Parliament that the clause could in fact ‘help’ rape survivors, saying that:

‘People will be supported and shown to the various other organisations – and again this could give them an opportunity to talk about maybe something that’s happened that they never had before.

‘So, it’s potentially double support there – they’re getting the money they need and maybe an outlet they might possibly need.’

Survivors of rape having to fill out a form to prove their sexual assault to the government in order to claim support for their children is an anathema to every decent person in this country. It has to end.

I look forward to the budget on Monday, I hope you will finally see sense and end this immoral policy.


Richard Leonard

Scottish Labour leader