14.8% of the total number of children in Paisley and Renfrewshire South and 17.3% of children in Paisley and Renfrewshire North could be affected by the two-child cap, according to new research  – prompting more calls for the UK Government to scrap the “heartless” policy.

The “two-child policy” allows low-income families to claim child tax credits or universal credit for their first two children only.

New research from the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has revealed that 160,000 families have had their income slashed by the two-child limit to-date.

The charity estimates that more than 3 million children could eventually be affected by the benefit cap.

SNP MSP Tom Arthur said:

“Social security should be a safety net for all of us, but the two-child limit is having a devastating effect on families up and down the country, with 5,375 children across Paisley and Renfrewshire set to be affected by it.

“All families are valuable and worthy of support, but this heartless policy turns people away when they most need support, and leaves children to grow up in hardship – which can have lifelong consequences for their health and wellbeing.

“The SNP government has been left to pick up the pieces, investing over £125 million to mitigate callous Tory welfare policies.

“In addition, it is introducing a Scottish Child Payment to tackle child poverty. Without the two-child cap, this payment could go so much further.

“The next Tory Prime Minister should make it a priority to tackle poverty and enable children to thrive, starting with reversing the two-child limit and horrendous ‘rape clause.’”

MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South Mhairi Black added:

“Almost a decade on, Tory austerity has done huge harm to countless families and individuals. Research from the Child Poverty Action Group has revealed these horrendous figures that will see 5,375 children in our towns and villages across Renfrewshire impacted by this.

“Regardless of whether it is Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt that takes over as the next Prime Minister of the UK, I highly doubt the targeted austerity that has been inflicted on Renfrewshire’s most vulnerable people will change under new leadership. We need the full powers of a Scottish Social Security system in an independent Scotland so that we can reverse all of the damage caused by this callous UK Government. “

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