Wes Streeting Rejects Archbishop Of Canterbury's Call To Axe Two-Child Benefit Cap

The shadow health secretary said: "That's not a commitment I'm able to make today."

Wes Streeting has rejected the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s call for the “cruel” two-child benefit cap to be scrapped.

The shadow health secretary said that although he personally opposed the policy, he could not promise that an incoming Labour government would end it.

The two-child cap was brought in by the Tories as part of their efforts to slash the welfare bill.

It means that families only receive Universal Credit or child tax credit payments for the first two children they have.

Welby told The Observer: “The two-child limit falls short of our values as a society. It denies the truth that all children are of equal and immeasurable worth, and will have an impact on their long-term health, wellbeing and educational outcomes.

“Shamefully, children from ethnic minorities and homes where someone is disabled are most affected.

“Children should grow up in families and households where they can flourish and be supported to find their place in the world. Yet the two-child limit prevents many from accessing the resources they need.

“This cruel policy is neither moral nor necessary. We are a country that can and should provide for those most in need, following the example of Jesus Christ, who served the poorest in society. As a meaningful step towards ending poverty, and recognising the growing concern across the political spectrum, I urge all parties to commit to abolishing the two-child limit.”

Appearing on Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips on Sky News this morning, Streeting said he “really welcomed” the Archbishop’s intervention, but could not commit to agreeing to his request.

He said: “One of the consequences of the Conservatives’ disastrous
handling of the economy is the public finances are in a mess and there are harder choices to make.

“So unless and until I can sit on your programme and say we will do X by funding it through Y, that’s not a commitment I’m able to make today.”

Streeting added: “I voted against the two child limit, so by definition, I wish it
wasn’t there. But as we’ve seen across the board, it’s a lot easier to get rid of stuff that is to put stuff back.

“And that’s the frustrating thing about the vandalism we’ve seen through
14 years of conservative government.”


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