10 February 2017

SSAC write to Minister about two child limit policy in tax credits and UC

The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) have written to Damian Hinds, Minister for Employment about the two child limit that is due to be introduced for tax credits and universal credit from April 2017.

The exceptions to the new policy were presented to the Committee through the Social Security (Restrictions on Amounts for Children and Qualifying Young Persons) Amendment Regulations 2017. The letter states that the Committee limited scrutiny to the four exceptions outlined in the draft legislation, rather than the broader underpinning policy which has been approved by Parliament and is in secondary legislation.

The majority of the letter raises issues around the non-consensual conception exception. The Committee considered privacy issues, separation from the perpetrator, decision making and the use of third party professionals in relation to this exception.

The Committee also raised concerns around adoption and long-term care arrangements and the inequality created by the order in which children arrive in the family.

Finally, the letter addresses responsibilities of the claimant as HMRC and the plans to direct claimants who may qualify for exceptions to GOV.UK website in order to find out about the exceptions and how to claim which is a departure from the current process whereby the department ask relevant questions in order to determine a claim.

The letter can be viewed on the GOV.UK website

More information about the two child policy for tax credits can be found in our tax credits policy section and for UC in our UC policy changes section.