Archbishop urges Government to scrap two-child benefit cap


Archbishop speaking in the House of Lords

The Archbishop used his House of Lords debate on families and households today to urge the Government to scrap the two-child benefit cap.

The two-child benefit cap means that parents can only get child tax credit or universal credit for their first two children. The cap is for the third child and subsequent children born after April 2017.

In his debate, the Archbishop urged the Government to put families at the centre of policymaking. 

Archbishop Justin highlighted research from the End Child Poverty Coalition which stated that, “removing the two-child limit would lift a quarter of a million children out of poverty.”

The Archbishop said, “The unfair penalty applied to additional children affects their educational outcomes, their mental and physical health, and their likelihood to require public support from public services later on. It is not a good policy.”

The Archbishop underlined the moral duty to scrap the cap. He stated, "the moral case is beyond any question."

The Archbishop also pointed to other issues that impact families in the UK, referencing recent changes to immigration rules. “This week we hear that many people in this country will be prevented from living together with their spouse, children or elderly parents as a result of a big increase in the minimum income requirement for family visas,” he said.

Archbishop Justin emphasised the unique, foundational role of families in society. “Families are the source of flourishing for so many. At their best, they are the place of belonging and security, of growth, care, healing and reconciliation,” he said.

The Archbishop also referenced the diverse makeup of family structures. He stated, "We know that families come in all shapes and sizes."

The debate follows a report published just before the Coronation of King Charles III from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York called ‘Love Matters’.

The report’s five aims are: to value families in all their diversity; support relationships throughout life; honour singleness and single person households; empower children and young people; and build a kinder, fairer, more forgiving society.

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