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Universal Credit reforms to force 200,000 children into poverty

'Pernicious' welfare reforms coming into force today will push hundreds of thousands more children into poverty, a charity has warned.

New cuts limiting Universal Credit to the first two children in a family will affect at least 850,000 families, of whom about two thirds are working, according to the Child Poverty Action Group.

Research by the group with the Institute for Public Policy Research shows the reforms will push another 200,000 children below the official poverty line.

The biggest group affected will be working families with three children, who will miss out on up to £2,780 per year.

CPAG chief executive Alison Garnham said: 'This is a particularly pernicious cut because it suggests some children matter more than others.

'It's also illogical because no parent has a crystal ball. Families that can comfortably support a third child today could struggle tomorrow and have to claim Universal Credit because, sadly, health, jobs and relationships can fail.

'Our analysis shows another 200,000 children will be in poverty once Universal Credit is fully rolled out, directly because of this cut. Surely children should not have their life chances damaged because of the number of siblings they have.'