'Tens of thousands more children will be tipped into poverty by the time universal credit is fully rolled out because of the government’s two-child limit, a charity has warned.
On the second anniversary of the policy, Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has claimed an additional 300,000 children will be living in poverty by the time the new benefit payment is fully implemented in 2023-24.
The two-child limit, which restricts child allowances in universal credit and tax credits to the first two children in a family, has already affected about 150,000 families with children aged under two, according to CPAG.
It does not apply to third or subsequent children born before the policy was introduced in April 2017, those in kinship care, adopted children, or third or subsequent children conceived as a result of non-consensual sex.
CPAG warned 43 per cent of children in families with three or more children already live below the poverty line, compared to a 30 per cent child poverty rate overall.
Two-thirds of families affected will be working, it said, and many families who were not claiming tax credits or universal credit when they decided to have their third child will be affected by the two-child limit if they fall on difficult times, such as becoming unable to work due to illness or losing their partner.
A single parent with three children working 16 hours per week on the national living wage of £8.21 per hour would have to more than double their hours to 37 per week – or even more if they have to pay for childcare – to compensate for the effect of the two-child limit, according to the charity.'
Read more: Two-child limit will put 300,000 more children into poverty by the time universal credit fully rolled out, charity warns
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