Bishops stand against child poverty


    Category
    Lichfield Diocese News
    Date
    6 Apr 2018
    Author
    Pete Bate
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    The Bishops of Lichfield, Stafford and Wolverhampton have united with other faith leaders in urging the Government to loosen the grip of poverty on families.

    Today, 60 Bishops from the Church of England and senior representatives from other Christian, Jewish and Muslim organisations have come together to urge the Government to rethink its two-child limit policy, one year on from its introduction.

    In a letter to The Times, coinciding with the publication of a new report from the End Child Poverty Coalition, the faith leaders highlight how the policy is trapping families in poverty. The two-child limit restricts the level of financial support given to families with more than two children. As a result, at least 200,000 more children and their families will be pushed into poverty by the time it is fully implemented, whilst many more than this will be locked even more firmly in poverty.

    The Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave; the Bishop of Stafford, the Rt Revd Geoff Annas; and the Bishop of Wolverhampton, the Rt Revd Clive Gregory, have all signed the letter.

    The report, Unhappy Birthday: the two-child limit at one year written by End Child Poverty coalition members, the Child Poverty Action Group and the Church of England, warns that the full impact of the policy has yet to be seen. After the first year of implementation, around 160,000 families with new born babies are now up to £2,780 a year worse off than if their youngest child had been born in the previous year. From February next year, the two-child limit will also apply to families with three or more children who fall on hard times and make a new claim for universal credit, irrespective of when their children were born. By 2020/21, an estimated 640,000 families, including around 2 million children, will be affected by this policy.

    Find out more here.