February 13th, 2024.

The Liberal Democrat opposition group on Lewes District Council have submitted a motion to the council's meeting on 19th February calling on the council's leadership to demand that the Government scrap the controversial two-child benefit cap.

The two-child benefit cap, which prevents parents from claiming child tax credit or universal credit for more than two children, was introduced by the Conservative Government in 2017.

Data provided by the End Child Poverty Coalition shows that removing the cap would lift 250,000 children across the UK out of poverty. The data also shows that 25% of children in Lewes District are living in poverty.

The Child Poverty Action Group says the economic and societal effects of child poverty, including spending on public services, costs the UK £39 billion every year.

Liberal Democrat opposition group leader, Cllr James MacCleary, said: “The devastating impact of the Conservatives two-child benefit cap is obvious to anyone, forcing families into poverty and costing the government millions in additional support. As a parent with two young children I find it heartbreaking to imagine children growing up this way in one of the richest countries in the world.

"Child poverty has spiralled under the Conservatives to the point where more than four million children are estimated to live in poverty nationwide. Here in Lewes District figures show that a quarter of local children are living in poverty. That is shocking and unacceptable.

"The two-child benefit cap is a damaging and self-defeating policy that costs taxpayers millions. Scrapping it would change lives by immediately lifting 250,000 children out of poverty and giving them a chance to build a future for themselves.

"I hope that this motion will receive support from Labour and Green Party councillors running the council to show that we are united in our commitment to end child poverty.”
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