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Mitigate the two-child limit

Our key ask #2 is to mitigate the two-child limit

What is the two-child limit?

The child element of Universal Credit is replacing Child Tax Credit which, prior to April 2017, was available for all children in low-income families.

Third (or additional) children born after 6 April 2017 now only quality for Universal Credit support in a small number of exceptional cases.

What is the impact of the two-child limit?

It is important to view this policy within the prism of Northern Ireland, as its unfairness becomes all the more stark when considering the impact on families in Northern Ireland.  Typically, the average family size is larger than Great Britain with 21.4% of families in Northern Ireland having three or more children, compared to 14.7% in the UK.


The Mitigations Independent Review Panel Report has recommended mitigating the two-child limit through the introduction of a Welfare Supplementary Payment alongside the introduction of a “Better Start Larger Families” payment.

Removal of the limit was also recommended in 2020 by the Expert Advisory Panel tasked to develop recommendations for the, as yet, unpublished Department for Communities Anti-Poverty Strategy.

The Cliff Edge Coalition endorses these recommendations.