Thousands of children in East Ayrshire are in families affected by a limit on child allowance benefits, estimates suggest.

The two-child limit restricts child allowances in Universal Credit and tax credits – worth £2,935 per year – to the first two children in a family, unless the children were born before April 6, 2017, when the policy came into force.

The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is calling for the policy – which it says pushes families into poverty – to be scrapped.

Department for Work and Pensions figures show that 790 households with three or more children in East Ayrshire were receiving Universal Credit in April, and 420 received Child Tax Credits – 1,210 in total.

CPAG says the impact of the two-child limit will intensify as living costs surge.

The DWP figures reveal that the policy affects 360,000 families nationwide – 59 per cent of which are working households.

CPAG estimates that around one in 11 children in East Ayrshire are impacted by the cut-off – which is higher than the average of one in 12 for the UK as a whole.

Alison Garnham, chief executive of the charity, said the first instalment of the £650 cost-of-living emergency payment is not enough to stop the policy pushing families deeper into poverty.