Two-child benefits cap confirmed to stay if Labour Party win next UK General Election

This week, we join many other civil society organisations in the UK in expressing our concern and deep disappointment that Sir Keir Starmer has confirmed the UK Labour Party will keep the two-child benefits cap policy if successful at the next General Election. This policy, alongside many others introduced by the Conservative UK Government in so-called ‘welfare reforms’, is discriminatory and misogynistic- worsening gender inequality by pushing millions of families into poverty. It is a political choice to penalise the most vulnerable in our society and alongside organisations such CPAG, Action for Children and others, we will also be urging the UK Labour Party to reconsider their position.

Also known as the ‘family cap’, the two-child benefits cap tells families who rely on social security for their well-being that help will only be provided if you have a maximum of two children. This ‘family cap’ will not apply if a third or subsequent child is conceived as a result of rape. Known as the ‘rape clause’, this policy forces women to disclose that they are a victim of rape at a time and in a context not of her own choosing. On 6 April 2017, the rape clause and two-child limit came into effect without any parliamentary vote, requiring women to fill in an eight-page form to prove they have been raped.

We have consistently worked alongside the wider women’s sector to campaign against this cruel and discriminatory social security policy and highlight how such a policy amounts to state intrusion into women’s reproductive decisions. We know that ‘family cap’ policies also adversely affect poorer women, women who are more reliant on social security due to disability and particularly women from communities who traditionally have larger families. This includes refugee women and some women from ethnic minority backgrounds.

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