Suella Braverman Urges Abolition of Two-Child Benefit Cap

Former UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman calls on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to abolish the two-child benefit cap, citing its impact on child poverty. The policy, introduced in 2017, restricts child tax credits and universal credit to the first two children, affecting over 400,000 low-income families.

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Nitish Verma
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Suella Braverman Urges Abolition of Two-Child Benefit Cap

Suella Braverman Urges Abolition of Two-Child Benefit Cap

In a surprising rebuke of her own party's welfare policies, former UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman is calling on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to abolish the two-child benefit cap. The controversial policy, introduced in 2017, has driven almost half of children in families with three or more children into poverty by restricting child tax credits and universal credit to the first two children.

Why this matters: The two-child benefit cap has far-reaching consequences for child poverty rates in the UK, and its abolition could have a significant impact on the welfare of thousands of families. As the UK grapples with rising poverty rates, this policy decision could be a crucial step towards addressing the issue and ensuring a moreequitable distribution of resources.

The two-child benefit cap affects over 400,000 low-income families, who lose around £3,200 annually as a result. Braverman argues that the policy has had the unintended consequence of "pushing more children into relative poverty and forcing more families to use food banks." She suggests that abolishing the cap, estimated to cost £2.5 billion per year, could be funded by getting more out-of-work claimants back into employment.

Braverman's stance puts her at odds with both the Conservative government and the Labour opposition. Prime Minister Sunak has stated he has no intention of abolishing the cap, while Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has also said he will not change the policy if his party wins the next election, despite previously promising to scrap it during his leadership campaign.

The two-child benefit cap was introduced by former Chancellor George Osborne, who argued it would incentivize parents to move into work and take up more hours. However, critics claim the policy disproportionately affects single-parent families and those with very young children or disabled family members. Campaign groups, including the Child Poverty Action Group and the End Child Poverty Coalition, have urged both the government and Labour to commit to abolishing the cap.

In her impassioned plea, Braverman asks, "Do we support families or do we penalise them? That's the real question of a compassionate welfare system. Let's abolish the two-child limit, eradicate child poverty for good and make Frank Field proud." As a leading figure on the Tory right, Braverman's break with her party on this issue is significant, highlighting the growing concerns over the impact of the two-child benefit cap on child poverty in the UK.

Key Takeaways

  • Former UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman calls to abolish the two-child benefit cap.
  • The cap affects 400,000 low-income families, losing £3,200 annually.
  • Abolishing the cap could cost £2.5 billion/year, potentially funded by getting more out-of-work claimants back to work.
  • Braverman's stance opposes both the Conservative government and Labour opposition.
  • The cap has driven almost half of children in affected families into poverty.