There are two days left for the consultation about limiting Tax Credits and Universal Credit to two children. I’m not making a submission. This is not a consultation about the policy, but about what exceptions should be made, including multiple births and the children of rape. It’s a depressing process, which illustrates a general problem: if governments create stupid rules they then have even more problems to stop the anomalies from spiralling out of control.
I’ve some sympathy for a comment made from the IFS in their work on the Autumn Statement, which included a change in the UC taper rate but maintained the swingeing cuts in the work allowance. Stuart Adam pointed out that to date there have been four changes in the work allowance, one to childcare support and now one to the withdrawal rate. It’s exceedingly difficult to know what the effect of cumulative small changes to Universal Credit will be, and maybe they shouldn’t be done unless we do.