Has the two-child benefit cap put ‘fairness’ before children’s best interests?

New research from Nesta seeks to understand exactly how the two-child limit was impacting family life

In the 2015 summer budget, George Osborne announced that from April 2017, the UK government would “reform tax credits to make them fairer and more affordable”.  

But from the very beginning, the debate about the fairness of the two-child benefit cap (restricting child tax credits and the child element of universal credit to the first two children in any family) has been focused on fairness towards adults.   

As part of a package of reforms aimed at creating a “fairer welfare system”, its stated aims were to reduce the cost of the welfare system and ensure that “benefit recipients face the same family planning decisions as those who support themselves solely through work”. As a result, most research to date on the two-child limit policy has been particularly focused on how the policy has affected parents’ experiences, their employment and their decisions about fertility. 


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