Social media has been in uproar over now-renamed Keir Starmer’s announcement that the Labour Party will keep the two-child limit on benefits like Universal Credit. So-called “Sir Kid Starver” has briefed his front bench to hold the line over the controversial plan. However, the fuss over the policy fails to put it into context: that the Tory-created cap on benefits is little more than Eugenics, to stop poor people having kids.
Two-child limit: a devastating policy
Sir Kid Starver told BBC hack Laura Kuenssberg on Sunday 16 July that Labour would not scrap the two-child limit policy if it won the next election:
This makes me want to scream in frustration. It's heinous for the Labour party and @Keir_Starmer to keep the two-child policy, especially after his pledge and knowing 1.5 million are affected by it.#AllKidsCount pic.twitter.com/motCkcpWv0
— Ben Claimant 💚 Join a Union (@BenClaimant) July 16, 2023
As the Canary previously wrote, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) brought in the Tory policy:
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on 6 April 2017. It meant the DWP would only pay Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit for two children in a family; any more than this the DWP would not count in benefits calculations.
The policy has been controversial. A court ruled in June 2017 that the policy was “discriminatory” against single mothers with children under two. Then, in April 2018, another court said the cap was unlawful. This was in relation to young carers. The so-called ‘rape clause‘, where women have to prove they’ve been raped to get an exception to the two-child limit, also sparked outrage.
The policy has been devastating. The two-child limit affects one in 10 children. The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) says the policy is “one of the biggest drivers” of child poverty – and figures show this. By 2020, there was a near-10% increase in poverty among families with three or more kids. The policy has cut over £5bn from people’s benefits. Plus, the CPAG recently found that over 110,000 kids were hit by both the two-child limit and the equally obscene benefit cap.
Labour: doubling down
With this in mind, you’d think Sir Kid Starver would consider it wise to scrap the policy, especially given the £1.3bn cost of doing this is less than half a percent of total DWP budget. But no – once a Red Tory, always a Red Tory. Moreover, shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell doubled down on Sir Kid Starver’s pledge while doing the breakfast media rounds on Tuesday 18 July:
Lucy Powell, shadow culture minister, invokes Liam Byrne's infamous note to justify Labour's decision not to lift the two-child benefit cap if it wins election
She tells @TimesRadio 'We can't do everything we want to do because, quite honestly, there's no money left'
— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) July 18, 2023
People are rightly furious:
We watched this in horror. We were angry at the tories. We waited for a Labour govt to do the right thing.
— oldcornishbloke 🇺🇦🇬🇧🇵🇸 (@mrkernow) July 17, 2023
#SirKidStarver is being pretty clear what most of us can expect from him if he wins a general election- and its absolutely nothing- #SirKidStarver represents Rupert Murdoch, the corporations and the Billionaires… pic.twitter.com/zb6bG2IZta
— Socialist Mike💙❤️💚 (@MikeHarlingSW) July 18, 2023
A lot of people are also pointing out the cruelty of the two-child limit:
The two-child limit has achieved nothing other than driving children into poverty.
It hammers families whether they're in work or not.
Labour was founded to improve the conditions of the working class.
— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) July 16, 2023
The two-child limit is an unspeakably cruel policy, inflicting destitution and misery on children and parents.
It absolutely should be abolished.
— Zarah Sultana MP (@zarahsultana) July 17, 2023
Black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi families are more likely to live in households with 3+ children, so are disproportionately impacted by the two-child limit
Scrapping it would be an effective way to reduce the shocking levels of child poverty in the UK https://t.co/sR76pcBT9f
— Runnymede Trust (@RunnymedeTrust) July 17, 2023
However, what most people failed to mention was that when you actually break the two-child limit down, it is dripping in Eugenics.
Sir Kid Starver: supporting Eugenics
As the Canary previously reported, after the Tories brought in the two-child limit, abortion rates among women who already had two or more kids increased rapidly. However:
The Canary analysed the birth rates for women by socioeconomic status; that is for the richest and poorest women.
Our research found that birth rates fell generally between 2017 and 2019. But we found the biggest falls were among the poorest households. For example, between 2013 and 2016, birth rates in four bottom deciles (10%’s of population) fell overall by 0.9%. Then suddenly, between 2017 and 2019, this accelerated to a 12.4% fall in birth rates. This fall also correlated with an 11.74% increase in abortions – and the poorest women were having abortions at over twice the rate of the richest.
What does this mean?
Well, it’s hard not to look at the figures and think that the Tories intentionally designed the two-child policy to stop poor people having children. As the CPAG noted:
If these findings are related to the two-child policy, it is horrifying. China’s one-child policy was driven by burgeoning birth rates. We have sub-replacement fertility. There is no other country in history that has adapted social security policy to increase child poverty to reduce fertility or encourage abortion. It is a completely outrageous assault on liberty.
That is – the Tories introduced a policy to socially engineer certain groups of people to stop them having kids. This is Eugenics in all but name – and the evidence backs up that assertion. Now, with Sir Kid Starver and Labour supporting it, they’ve shown their true colours – and there’s no red anywhere to be found.Support us and go ad-free
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