‘Misguided and harmful’ says RCM on two child limit benefits policy and new report

on 02 July 2019 Poverty Child Mortality

The Child Poverty Action Group along with the Church of England, Women’s Aid, Turn2Us and the Refugee Council has published a report ‘All Kids Count’. It reports on the impact of the two-child limit. It draws on the experiences of families affected by the policy.

Commenting on the report, Sean O’Sullivan, Head of Health and Social Policy at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), said: “This misguided and harmful policy is causing considerable anxiety and stress for many women during pregnancy and after their child is born. The negative effect of stress in pregnancy on women and their developing babies is well known and documented. It is also emphasised in report after report - including ones commissioned by the Government - how poverty and inequality can be exacerbated by policies such as these.

This is an issue about the health, safety and wellbeing of women and their families as much as it is about money. The distress that this causes and the impact it has on the mental and physical health of women and infants inevitably results in additional costs to the NHS and to social services. It is therefore a false economy.

“The Government should be focused on raising families out of poverty not pushing them further into it"

See the RCM Position Statement The Child Tax Credit Cap and the ‘Rape Clause’ at https://www.rcm.org.uk/media/2290/child-tax-credit-and-the-rape-clause.pdf.

Note to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.