Research on the two-child limit

CPAG, the Church of England, Women's Aid, Turn2Us and the Refugee Council have published a new report looking at the impact of the two-child limit.
  • About 160,000 families have been affected already; most are working families and most have three children.
  • As a result of this policy, 300,000 children will be pushed into poverty and one million children, already in poverty, will be pushed even deeper into poverty by 2023/24.
  • Of the 430 families we surveyed, 95 per cent said that the two-child limit had affected their ability to pay for basic living costs, including 88 per cent who said it had affected their ability to pay for food and clothing. Families are facing severe and ongoing financial difficulty and being forced into debt just to cover basic living costs each month. 
  • Victims of domestic abuse are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of the two-child limit.
  • Refugees affected by the two-child limit are likely to have arrived in the UK with next to nothing, and the two-child limit hinders their ability to rebuild their lives after traumatic experiences.
  • Orthodox Jewish and Muslim communities are also disproportionately affected by the two-child limit.
 Read the report 
 Read a summary of the report 
1.8 million children will be affected by the two-child limit by 2023-24. 
It will push 300,000 children into poverty, and 1 million into deeper poverty by 2023-24.
In January 2019, Turn2Us published research on the impact of the policy, as well as the low levels of awareness among those affected.
The Work and Pensions Committee ran a short inquiry and published a report in January 2019, promising a further inquiry. 
In July 2018, CPAG published evidence from its Early Warning System about the impact of the policy, as reported by frontline advisers.
In April 2018, CPAG, the Church of England and End Child Poverty published Unhappy birthday! The two child limit at one year old.

'I don’t eat properly – one meal a day if I’m lucky, and that’s a six year-old’s size. I can’t afford to heat the house and I can’t afford my rent.'


‘If we need anything it has to be bought using store credit; this includes clothes and shoes for the children.'



The two-child limit in the news

6 April 2018

Times website (£) TWO-CHILD LIMIT ON UNIVERSAL CREDIT - letter from 60 Anglican Bishops and other faith leaders.


21 September 2017

Women's Aid website: Open letter (in the Telegraph) calling for rethink on two-child limit


6 April 2017

Times website (£): TAX CREDIT LIMITS - letter particularly focussing on the rape clause