A Renfrewshire councillor has condemned UK Government policy that stops parents from claiming benefits for more than three children.

Families on low-income can 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 across the UK have had their income slashed by the two-child limit to-date. The charity estimates that more than 3,000,000 children could eventually be affected by the benefit cap.

According to research from Child Poverty Action Group 3,075 children from 920 families in Paisley & Renfrewshire North (17.3% of children in the area) will be impacted by these benefit rules, whilst in Paisley & Renfrewshire South 2,300 children from 690 families will be affected (14.8% of children in the area).

Councillor Kenny MacLaren, SNP – Paisley Northwest, said: “Over 5,300 children in Renfrewshire will be affected by the UK Government’s policy of limiting child tax credits or universal credit for the first two children only.

“Social security should be a safety net for all of us, but the two-child limit is having a staggering impact upon families up and down the country, with 5,375 children across 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.

“As usual it’s the SNP Government who has been left to pick up the pieces, investing over £125 million to mitigate callous Tory welfare policies.

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