6 Apr 2017

An estimated 3 million children will be affected by the introduction of the 'two-child limit' to Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit by the time it is fully introduced, analysis from The Children’s Society has found.

The charity’s calculations show that around two thirds of the children affected by the two-child limit, which starts on Thursday 6 April, will be from working families.

A nurse with three children, earning £23,000 a year who becomes a single parent, stands to lose £2,780 a year if he or she makes a claim for tax credits or Universal Credit from Thursday.

Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said: 'Children shouldn’t have to worry if there’s enough food to feed the family tonight, or whether to tell their mum that their school shoes don’t fit anymore. But this week’s child tax credit cuts will condemn hundreds of thousands more children to lives overshadowed by poverty.

'Children will be losing thousands of pounds a year in support that should be helping them to lead happy, healthy lives. This means more children at risk of illness, poor school results and mental health problems.

'At a time when child poverty is already on the rise, the Government should not be pressing ahead with these cuts. We urge the Prime Minster to reconsider these changes and weigh the devastating impact they will have against her pledge to help struggling families.'


Read our blog on the '2-child limit'

Notes to editors

The latest available statistics indicated that around 872,000 families in receipt of Tax Credits have more than two children in the household. Our analysis of these figures - a detailed breakdown is included below - indicates that there are around 3 million children living in these families. This gives an indication of the numbers likely to be affected when the policy is introduced.

The Government has forecast that around 640,000 of these families will be affected by 2020 alone.

  Number of families affected by 2 child limit Number of children in families affected % children affected in working families
United Kingdom 872,000 3,034,500 64%
Great Britain 839,000 2,920,500 64%
England and Wales 788,000 2,746,500 64%
England 746,000 2,602,500 64%
North East 35,000 121,500 59%
North West 108,000 376,500 63%
Yorkshire and the Humber 84,000 294,000 65%
East Midlands 63,000 219,000 66%
West Midlands 97,000 342,000 63%
East 73,000 252,000 67%
London 130,000 457,500 63%
South East 93,000 322,500 66%
South West 62,000 214,500 69%
Wales 42,000 145,500 61%
Scotland 51,000 174,000 62%
Northern Ireland 33,000 114,000 63%