MORE than 500 families in Renfrewshire have been denied benefits because they have too many children.

The controversial two-child policy, introduced by the UK Government in 2017, does not allow Child Tax Credit or Universal Credit to be paid to a household for a third newborn or any subsequent children.

It is claimed this can result in a loss of up to £2,845 for every newborn.

Figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions show that, on April 2 this year, a total of 280 Renfrewshire families were being denied Universal Credit as a result of the two-child rule and a further 250 had their Child Tax Credit cut for the same reason.

Overall, 17,830 Scots families missed out on further benefits – a rise of 34% on the previous year.

Maggie Chapman MSP, social security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, has called on the Scottish Government to make up the shortfall for Renfrewshire parents.

She said: “Taking almost £3,000 per child from some of our poorest families seriously undermines efforts to reduce child poverty.

“The Scottish Government can and should step in.”

In response, the Scottish Government said the UK Government should scrap the two-child limit.

A spokesperson added: “This policy will take £120million from low-income families in Scotland once its effects are fully realised.

“Scotland’s social security system does not have a cap on the number of eligible children and never will.”

A UK Government spokesman said: “This policy ensures fairness by asking families on benefits to make the same financial decisions as families supporting themselves solely through work.

“We have a comprehensive childcare offer for working parents and continue to pay child benefit for all children.”

One of the exemptions that can be applied to the two-child policy is the non-consensual conception of a child, which has become known as ‘the rape clause.’

It sparked anger, as women must prove they were raped to receive the benefits.