No 10 has a Â plan to cap benefits at two children. New mothers with three children would lose Â£700 in Â£5bn welfare crackdown.
The proposal would mean parents with three children, who would currently be entitled to child benefit because their annual income is less than Â£50,000, would lose out on Â£696 a year.
The initiative has been put forward by Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi, recently appointed by David Cameron to the Noâ€‰10 policy board to come up with vote-winning policies for the Conservative Election manifesto. Mr Zahawi is a close ally of Chancellor George Osborne, who said last week he was determined to find billions of pounds of extra savings in the welfare budget.
Opinion polls show strong public support for welfare cuts and the Tories say it is vitalÂ to encourage greater responsibility. But the idea is likely toÂ be criticised by Labour as an attack on hard-up families.
The Tories say it is â€˜nonsenseâ€™ to call the idea â€˜social engineeringâ€™ or compare it to Chinaâ€™s â€˜one child policyâ€™ to curb population growth.
There comes a point when you’ve emptied the welfare cupboard and the burden on the net taxpayers is simply not sustainable. Â Welfare stops being a safety net, and instead turns into a dragnet. Â Of course, like irresponsible children, the left start to whine you’re taking their iPad away. Â Read more »