North Ayrshire and Arran MP Patricia Gibson, has demanded that payments to affected Kinship Carers are backdated, following the UK Government being forced to ensure kinship carers, who look after relatives, are exempt from its two-child limit on receiving benefits, introduced in April 2017.
The UK Government U-turn comes in the wake of an English High Court ruling which determined the policy as it applied to carers who look after younger siblings to prevent them being taken into care was “perverse and unlawful.”
A written statement issued by the UK government on Friday means that all children adopted or taken into care will now be exempted for the purposes of the two-child limit. Tory ministers had previously made assurances that kinship carers would not be hit by the policy when it was first brought in.
Commenting, Mrs Gibson said:
“Often the circumstances leading to someone taking a young relative into their home are heartbreaking; death, illness or family difficulties.
“With 200,000 children across the UK growing up in kinship care, we owe those carers a debt of gratitude. For those who take care of family members to be denied support for having children themselves is simply unjust.
“I welcome the UK Government U-turn. However, the UK government should go further and apologise to anyone affected, backdating payments to carers caught up in this unlawful policy. They deserve that support they should always have been entitled to and, in fact, were previously promised.
“Sadly, this is just part of the picture; the Family Cap and Tory Rape Clause still unfairly punish larger families and make women relive the trauma of rape just to claim benefits to which they are entitled. That is a disgrace, and hopefully this U-turn marks the beginning of the end for this shameful policy.”