450,000 households sent £288 DWP child tax credits message

A young family worrying about finances with dad making notes on a pad and mum checking a wallet while holding a child
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Around 450,000 UK households are missing out on crucial extra cash because of the two-child benefit cap. And that includes tens of thousands in the West Midlands, who could be getting at least £288 extra a month to support their families.

The two-child benefit cap has been branded cruel by critics, amid growing pressure on the new Labour Government to scrap the policy. As the name suggests, parents can only claim child tax credits for their first two children and no more after that.

As a result, 1.6 million kids live in homes impacted by the cap - and the majority of those in a Universal Credit household. Opponents of the policy say the extra support could help to lift some children out of poverty.

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For parents of children born after March 2017, child tax credits are worth up to £288 a month for two children and £3,455 a year - money which could make a huge difference to the worst-off families, as many claimants are. Keir Starmer has so far refused to scrap the two-child benefit cap due to the costs involved with doing so but pressure is only likely to build.

The majority of the 450,000 households (270,000) were in work, with 180,000 being out of work households. In Birmingham, 17,000 families are impacted by the cap and around 14,000 in the four areas of the Black Country.

Joseph Howes, chair of the End Child Poverty Coalition and CEO of Buttle UK said: “The two-child limit just has to go. If the aim is to reduce child poverty, there is no way for the new Labour government to keep this policy in place when the evidence shows that the number of children impacted is increasing year on year.

"Children living in poverty cannot wait any longer – this shameful policy must be scrapped, the time for action is now.”