Two-child benefits limit hurts the poor | Letters

Your report (Ministers urged to scrap ‘nasty’ two-child limit on benefits, 1 August) rightly warns of the likely impact on overall levels of child poverty. However, given that the majority of children affected are already in poverty, perhaps even more worrying is the Child Poverty Action Group’s estimate that a million children (over half of those concerned) will be pushed deeper below the poverty line.

From the research you cite, it would seem that the two-child limit is undermining the government’s own policies, including on domestic abuse, refugee integration and family conflict. Yet it is doing nothing to monitor its impact. This betrays the kind of irresponsible indifference to the effects of its policies on the wellbeing of some of the poorest children and families in our society, lambasted recently by the UN rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.
Ruth Lister
Labour, House of Lords

Yet again ministers wheel out nonsense and denial to justify the inhuman policy of denying a third child a benefit income. “This policy ensures fairness by asking families receiving benefits to face the same financial choices as families supporting themselves solely through work,” says a government spokesperson. It all depends on whether you own or rent your home. Most homeowners, with increased, unearned, untaxed equity in their property, have many more financial choices to make in employment and unemployment than renters with none. The very rich can even pass land on to their three or four children tax free. It is only in the UK that renters are paying the landlords’ property tax, which we call council tax, while the landlords bask in their villas in the south of France.
Rev Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers Against Poverty

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