Archbishop of York asks about effects of benefit cap and two child limit

The Archbishop of York asked a question on the effects of the benefit cap and two child limit on vulnerable families on 24th January 2023:

The Lord Archbishop of York: My Lords, it is encouraging to see that the Government are keeping a check on the numbers of people being affected by these policies, but I was not quite sure whether I heard that work is being done to measure the impact of the policies on families. I can say, and it gives me no joy to say it, that from where I serve in the north of England—I am thinking particularly of Middlesbrough and Hull—I see the disturbing impact of an increase in poverty, child poverty and families in very difficult situations, not least with the cost of living crisis on top of all this. My simple, genuine and heartfelt question is: how would you explain this to a mum expecting her third child, or a family with three or four children who have been pushed into benefits over the past couple of years? They do not understand why this is happening but they are suffering as a consequence of it. How do we explain to them the rightness of this policy?

Viscount Younger of Leckie (Con): My Lords, first, we are very aware of the fact that some people are finding it particularly difficult at the moment—some very good points have been made about that. One of the issues to focus on, which we are doing, is childcare, which is a key enabler of employment for parents and has clear developmental benefits for children. Of course, the onus falls on the caseworkers in the jobcentres. Often they are very well trained, and they have to deal directly with these people who come with some heartfelt stories.


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