In order to receive financial support in the year after the two-child policy was introduced in April 2017. Tens of thousands of low-income families have also lost child benefits under the measure, which limits tax credits to two children. Charities have accused the government of “snatching away” financial support from struggling families
An exemption for women is made if they can prove any subsequent children were the result of an assault. In total, 190 women had to prove their child was conceived as a result of rape in order to receive financial support. The rape clause meant mothers were having to disclose rape in order to put food on the table.
73,530 families – amounting to about 200,000 children – have lost entitlement to child allowances in tax credits or universal credit since the policy was introduced.
There were 2,820 households claiming exemption from the policy, of which 190 were affected by the rape clause.
Alison Garnham, chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said the figures showed the policy was “already having a damaging impact – and at a fast pace. These are struggling families, most of them in work, who will lose up to £2,780 a year – a huge amount if you’re a parent on low pay. An estimated one in six children will be living in a family affected by the two-child limit once the policy has had its full impact,” she said. “It’s a pernicious, poverty-producing policy. Even when times are tough, parents share family resources equally among their children, but now the government is treating some children as less deserving of support purely because of their order of birth.”
Jamie Grier, director of development at Turn2us said, in a time of high rents and low wages we need to see support extended to families who need financial help, not snatched away.”