A wicked benefit cut hitting 15,000 families a year will be eliminated in a screeching U-turn just three weeks before it was expected to take force, and Tory welfare chief Amber Rudd will announce she is axing an extension of the ‘two-child limit’ that was set to kick in on February 1.
The policy prevents parents from claiming Tax Credits or Universal Credit for more than two children, a reduction of up to £2,780 per child, but currently, it pertains to children born following the cut took force in April 2017.
From February it was due to apply retrospectively, punishing children born before the cut was dreamed up, and the Work and Pensions Secretary will announce that the extension is not valid and will be dismissed, but critics crashed Amber Rudd’s speech as too little too late.
And Labour shadow work and Pensions Secretary Margaret Greenwood stated this partial U-turn did not go far enough.
Labour has long asked for the Government to drop the two-child limit in its entirety, and Universal Credit just isn’t working, it’s driving countless families into hardship, rent arrears and towards food banks.
The Government must end the roll out quickly before more people are thrust into financial difficulty, and the latest Tory U-turn doesn’t go anywhere near far enough when women are made to declare a third child that’s born of rape.
The two child cap and rape clause is still set to drive hundreds of thousands of children into poverty and must be dismissed, and this shameful UK government policy has been rebuked by the UN rapporteur on extreme poverty and an abundance of charities and welfare advice experts.
This is prejudice at its core and punishes women and BAME families hardest, which the DWP are well aware of, and the Work and Pensions Secretary announced the judgment simply as a report by the MPs was due to demand an urgent end to the extension before it caused dangerous consequences.
The policy is wrong, destructive and totally incomprehensible, and the move is set to stop about 15,000 new claimants per year being ambushed into that cut, and it’s perceived to be costing the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) £250 million over the next three years.
The Tory minister will tell charities, work coaches and journalists at a speech in London that these parents made choices about the size of their family when the former policy was the only policy in place.
There is also the religious aspect of it as well, particularly when a woman has been raped and feels that she must abort that pregnancy just because she won’t be given any money for that child, and isn’t it true to say that the benefits system in this country were basically designed to save people from poverty, not lock them into it?
And if we look at the next stage of Universal Credit, it’s especially troubling that the chain of food banks are growing in people needing them, leaving three million people to wait at least five weeks for their first payment, and it’s simply not good enough.
The government should move people onto Universal Credit, rather than leaving people to make their own claim, to ensure there’s no hiatus between the old and the new benefits system.
So now it’s been announced that the government are going to dismiss the extension of a two-child limit on Universal Credit for children born before April 2017, but all those children born before that date will be supported by Universal Credit.
More than 70,000 families were hit by the two-child limit in its first year, and Policy in Practice prophesied the full system would plunge 266,000 additional children into destitution by 2022, but despite stiff advice by charities and Labour, Amber Rudd isn’t scrapping the two-child limit itself, I really do hope she sleeps well at night!
How many DWP ministers have this wicked lot gone through? They know they’re hitting the less well off in our society, and Universal discredit was supposed to be cheaper than the former system, well that’s wrong for a start with millions over budget, with delay after delay while the government tinker with a system that was absolutely fine before as millions perish, poverty rises and there are people out on the streets and are destitute.
There are much better ways of making a saving and that would be by blocking the government’s wretched tax havens whilst they punished the poorest families and then expand the level of Inheritance Tax to £1 million for the rich.
We pay our taxes at the highest rate now and wouldn’t we sooner that it went on people and children to give them support than tax cuts for the wealthiest in our society? After all, the poor and even those whose situation is self-inflicted are far more deserving of our money than those in a society whose wealth is a gained stealth, supported by a Tory government.
And it’s astounding how hate-filled people can be towards the poor but think nothing of a fraudulent system that permits the wealthy to grow even richer by sanctioned tax evasion and treating workers so appallingly bad that they’re at the mercy of the state that then punishes them for the wealthy making them poor.
We all want a fairer society but it shouldn’t be about beating those at the bottom of the ladder.