'All Kids Count' report launch
Last night Natalie Williams represented Jubilee+ at the Parliamentary launch of the All Kids Count report by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and the Church of England.
“It was really distressing to hear about the impact the two-child limit on certain benefits has had over the last two years,” she said.
Josephine Tucker, CPAG’s Head of Policy and Research, told the attendees, “This policy saves the treasury £1.7bn per year but is pushing 1 million children deeper into poverty.” The impact this has on children is far-reaching. Tucker spoke of one mum who can not afford to take her kids out, whose daughter has become really shy and now clings to her whenever they are able to go out.
Another mum, Michelle, told the audience that she had had to give up on her dream of becoming a teacher – she’s saddled with £48k of student loan debt but can’t finish her PGCE because of childcare costs and less money coming in.
There is a clause in the policy that allows for exemptions if the third or subsequent child was conceived as a result of abuse, but many survivors of abuse, even if they have managed to leave the abusive situation, do not wish to go through the application form for exemption or label their children in such a way.
Women’s Aid reported that one abuse survivor living in a refuge stated that the policy is “making us choose between poverty or an abortion”. Another returned from a refuge to her abuser because she didn’t want to state that the baby was the result of rape on the application form, and didn’t want to terminate the pregnancy. She couldn’t survive financially if she didn’t go back.
Baroness Ruth Lister said, “I read a lot of reports and I don’t think I’ve got as angry as I’ve felt reading this report. It’s devastating the lives of so many families. The arguments for the policy fall away when you hear the testimony of people affected by it. I hope ministers will listen to the lived experience.”
Baroness Lister also noted that many of the people hit hardest by this policy are in work, yet are treated as undeserving of help by many politicians.
Jubilee+ has signed up to the campaign to abolish the two-child limit. This is a matter of justice for children across our nation. You can read the full report here.