Tories and Labour pressed on two-child benefit cap in BBC Wales debate

Tories and Labour pressed on two-child benefit cap

13 minutes agoBy Mark Palmer, BBC Wales News • Adrian Browne, Political reporter, BBC Wales NewsBBCVaughan Gething, Oliver Lewis, Rhun ap Iorwerth, Jane Dodds and David TC Davies took part in the BBC Wales Election Debate.

The Plaid Cymru and Welsh Liberal Democrat leaders have urged the next UK government to scrap the two-child welfare benefit limit,

They made the call in an at times bad-tempered BBC Wales TV general election debate.

Lib Dem Jane Dodds said the next Conservative or Labour government should abolish the benefits cap “because that is making families poorer”.

Plaid’s Rhun ap Iorwerth said Sir Keir Starmer will be the next prime minister and he should lift the “cruel” policy.

Welsh Labour leader Vaughan Gething said Sir Keir would “review” the benefits system and, for the Conservatives, Welsh Secretary David TC Davies said the welfare bill had “to come down”.

Reform UK’s Oliver Lewis said his party “won’t cut welfare”.

The two-child cap, which was introduced in 2017, restricts child tax credit and universal credit to the first two children in most households.

It means families cannot claim about £3,200 a year per extra child, the Resolution Foundation think tank has said.

‘Shameful in 2024’

Jane Dodds is leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, and their sole Senedd member.

She told the studio audience, in Cardiff, that the price of fuel and food had gone up “twenty-five per cent in the last two years”.

“One of the big factors is that here in Wales, 29% of our children are poor, 29% child poverty.

“And my challenge to the Conservatives and to Labour, if they’re in power, is will you abolish the two child cap on our benefits because that is making our families poorer?”

“That is shameful in 2024,” she added.

Vaughan Gething, First Minister and Welsh Labour leader, said that if Labour wins on 4 July it would review the benefits system, “to understand all of the different policies that have been visited on us, because we want a fairer deal for people”.

“I am convinced that we’ll have a fairer benefits system that will help to support families into work and that will help to lift families out of poverty,” he said.

“The last UK Labour government lifted over half a million children out of poverty. “That’s our record. That’s our ambition.”

Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth accused the first minister of “refusing to engage with that most fundamental of changes that I think we need to see happening, which is the lifting of the cruel two-child benefits limit”.

He said the cap had been “imposed by the Conservatives and for some reason, given the principles that Labour used to stand for, promising to be continued by Labour”.

WalesGeneral election 2024


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