Population Matters

Cap benefits after the first two kids

Cap benefits after the first two kids

Limiting child benefits and tax subsidies to the first two children would help crowded Britain.


Two recent think tank reports have proposed limiting child benefit:


Population Matters’ position is that support should be based on need rather than family size and thus that the state should not automatically provide child-related payments or tax breaks after the first two, while ensuring that children are protected from living in poverty.

We suggest that this only apply to children conceived after the policy is changed.

Our own research shows that there is majority support for such a change.

Simon Ross, chief executive of Population Matters, commented, “Policy around family subsidies should be about more than saving money. Instead, we should use it to promote a more sustainable small-family model. Capping benefits and tax credits at the second child for environmental and sustainability reasons would send a clear message to prospective parents. Phasing in the change and supporting families in need would ensure that there are no serious adverse impacts from the change.”

UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 2017. This is no longer Population Matters’ policy. Please see our Sustainable Population Policy for our current position. 

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