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Exceptions to the limiting of the individual Child Element of Child Tax Credit and the Child Element of Universal Credit to a maximum of two children

Consultation response from Citizens Advice Scotland

CAS is generally concerned about the restriction on families to only
being able to claim Child Tax Credits or Universal Credit for two children, and
would recommend the Government reconsider the policy in its entirety rather
than making exemptions to it.

Advice on Child Tax Credits is one of the most common issues that clients seek advice on, with 13,363 new issues during the year, an increase of 14% compared with the previous 12 months. During November 2015, 9% of CAB clients who were given advice on an issue related to Child Tax Credits were from a large family, with three or more dependent children. 

The change of policy will negatively impact tens of thousands of households in Scotland in the long run, with the most recent official figures indicating that 51,000 of the families in Scotland who received tax credits in 2014/15 contained three or more children, meaning that over 153,000 children would be affected by the change if demand for tax credits and Universal Credit remained at current levels.

Receiving Child Tax Credits can be essential to prevent families from facing hardship and destitution. Recent instances of CAB clients having their tax credits stopped incorrectly following an investigation by Concentrix demonstrate the impact of a loss of income.

Rob Gowans
Publication date
November 2016
Publication type
Number of pages