It’s time to end the “family tax”

The Catholic Union has called on the Government to scrap the two-child limit for childcare support for those on low incomes and the unemployed.

The policy, introduced in 2017, limits the childcare element of Universal Credit and Tax Credits to two children per household. The policy was widely criticised by faith groups at the time, on the grounds that it discriminates against larger families.

The Catholic Union has written to the Chancellor to call for the policy to be scrapped in light of the coronavirus outbreak and the huge financial pressures faced by families across the country.

A review of tax and spending plans is expected to be announced next month to address the economic shock of the coronavirus. The Catholic Union has urged the Chancellor to consider all options for supporting children and families at this difficult time, including removal of the two-child limit.

Catholics attempted to get the policy changed ahead of the Budget earlier this year but were unsuccessful. The Catholic Union is urging the Chancellor to reconsider the Treasury’s position in light of the coronavirus and the risk of a significant increase in child poverty caused by the economic downturn.

Catholic Union Head of Public Affairs, James Somerville-Meikle, comments: “There has never been a better time to get rid of this deeply unfair policy, or a more pressing need to give families the support they need. Coronavirus is having a devastating impact on families across the country. Existing support from the Government is welcome, but it’s crucial that help gets to people most in need. The decision not to give support to some of the most vulnerable families in society looks increasingly indefensible. At a time when public spending is increasing, levelling up support for families should be a priority for the Government. Campaigners, including many faith groups, have worked hard over the last three years to highlight the unfairness of this policy. But with more families relying on universal credit and income support, it’s now vital that the two-child limit is removed. It’s time to end this family tax and give children and families the support they deserve.”

The letter can be read below:

Letter to Rishi Sunak MP 17.06.20