The Church of England

Bishop hits out at 'two-child' benefits cap

BBC Tees

The Bishop of Durham has hit out at a government policy which caps benefits to poorer families who have more than two children.

The so-called two-child limit restricts the child element in Universal Credit and tax credits to the first two children.

New research by the Church of England and the Child Poverty Action Group documents the "toll" the policy is taking on family life in low-income households.

Rt Rev Paul Butler

The Rt Rev Paul Butler (pictured) said: "We believe that children are a blessing, not a burden, and that a third or fourth child is no less precious than the first or second.

"The government's two-child limit goes against this fundamental principle and is pushing many families and children into poverty.

"It is simply not right that some children get support and others don't. "The two-child limit must be lifted as part of a concerted effort to reverse the rise in child poverty."

A government spokesman said: "This policy helps to ensure fairness by asking parents receiving benefits to face the same financial choices as those in work.

"Tackling poverty remains a priority - we're spending £95bn a year on welfare and providing free school meals to more than a million children."