This Council Motion forms part of a wider Campaign Pack on scrapping the two child limit on benefit payments which can be found here.
The Conservative Government introduced the Two Child Limit to Benefit Payments in 2017. Labour have indicated strongly that they will retain they form a Government after the next General Election.
Research from the End Child Poverty Coalition shows that over 1.5 million children across the UK are affected by the two child limit on benefit payments. There is a direct correlation between the cap and child poverty. So much so that scrapping the policy would lift 250,000 children out of poverty overnight and significantly ease poverty for a further 850,000 children.
The Liberal Democrats have consistently opposed this policy. The only major UK-wide to do so. Scrapping the two child limit was part of our 2017 and 2019 manifestos and we re-affirmed our commitment to this at our 2023 Autumn Conference.
The below Template Council Motion calls on your Council to back the campaign to scrap the two child limit on benefit payments. You can localise the data to your area using the data below from the End Child Poverty Coalition which has up to date information on the number of children affected by the cap, and those living in poverty, for every local council in England, Scotland and Wales.
You can copy and past the motion below. Please note some of the calls to actions (for instance allocation of Free School Meals) may not be applicable to lower tier councils. Please amend as appropriate for your council.
The Two Child limit to benefit payments was introduced by the Conservative Government in 2017 – preventing families from claiming Child Tax Credit or Universal Credit for more than 2 children in the household.
Council notes the recent research conducted by the End Child Poverty Coalition which has found that:
- 1.5 million children in the UK live in households subject to the two-child limit on benefit payments. That is roughly one-in-ten children in the UK.
- In 2023/24 the two-child limit cost families up to £3,235 per child each year.
- There is a strong correlation between families affected by the two-child limit and those who are living in poverty.
- Scrapping the two-child limit would lift 250,000 children out of poverty overnight, and significantly reduce the level of poverty that a further 850,000 children live in.
- Scrapping the two-child limit would cost £1.3 billion, however it is estimated that child poverty costs the economy £39 billion each year.
In [COUNCIL NAME], XX,XXX children in XXXX households are currently affected by the two-child limit to benefit payments. That is XX% of all children in the authority area. At the same time XX,XXX local children are living in poverty.
Council strongly believes that the two-child limit to benefit payments is a cruel and harmful policy that should be scrapped. Research from the University of York has shown its introduction has had no positive impacts on employment and earnings. Instead it has dragged thousands of local families into poverty.
Council notes the Liberal Democrats have consistently opposed the two-child limit to benefit payments since it was introduced – calling for it to be axed in their 2017 and 2019 manifestos and reaffirming their commitment to scrapping it at their 2023 federal Autumn Conference. Council notes with concern the stance of the Conservative Government to continue with the cap, and the indication by the Labour Party Leader that they would ‘keep the two child benefit cap’.
Council resolves to:
- Instruct the Chief Executive to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister indicated [COUNICL NAME’s] strong belief that the two child limit to benefit payments should be scrapped – which would help XXXX children living in [AREA NAME].
- Further instruct the Chief Executive to write to all MPs covering the [COUNCIL NAME] area, asking them to commit their public support to the campaign to end the cruel two child limit to benefit payments.
- To ensure the number of children a family has is considered when a hardship grant is given out by the council.
- Look at the provision of free school meals for families impacted by the two-child limit in the area.