The policy treats children like consumer goods rather than human beings. It's time to end itby Tom Clark / January 11, 2019 / Leave a comment
Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd giving a speech at Kennington Jobcentre, London. Photo: PA
“Well, I never asked to be
born.” It’s a teenage protest that grates on parents precisely because it makes
a fair point. One reason why we’ve got a moral obligation to make sure that
others don’t have an unduly miserable life is that having a life in the first
place is not a choice, but something we are saddled with.
The two-child cap on
Universal Credit—on which Amber Rudd has today announced a
partial retreat—ignores this reality. Rather than treat children as individual
people with their own interests, it imagines them as a consumer choice made by
While many benefit cuts made since 2010 have been harsh, none of the others
The absolute cap on household benefits has been painful in pricey inner London, but at least—in theory—families could escape its bite by moving to other places where rents are cheaper. But a poor family deemed to have had “too many” children, and then punished for that, has no option but getting poorer.
Every scheme of poor
relief since the Elizabe…