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LEICESTER, United Kingdom – A proposal to end the two-child limit for the UK’s Universal Credit is being praised as an attempt to end an “obvious and egregious form of discrimination against larger families.”

Universal Credit is the combined system of welfare support for working-aged people in the United Kingdom. Under its child allowance scheme, you receive extra payment if you have a child, which increases with a second child. However, no increase is given for any subsequent child.

A bill presented by Anglican Bishop Paul Butler of Durham – one of 26 Church of England bishops who sit in the UK’s House of Lords – would remove the two-child limit to Universal Credit.

The Catholic Bishop of Northampton, Bishop David Oakley, said he welcomed the proposed legislation.

“At a time of ever-growing social and economic insecurity for families across England, the two-child cap on universal credit places an unnecessary and disproportionate burden on households, particularly for families that have suffered the pain of unemployment or disability,” Oakley said on Thursday.

“Further, it represents an obvious and egregious form of discrimination against larger families and penalises those parents who embrace the joy and abundance of many children,” he added.

“Happy and healthy families make happy and healthy societies, and our economic policies should be directed towards their sustainable growth and development,” the bishop said.

Oakley also noted that greater support for families would also lead to fewer abortions in the country, claiming the latest abortion figures for England and Wales show that there is a very strong correlation between greater levels of local deprivation and higher rates of abortion.

“Families of all shapes and sizes should be protected from social and economic insecurity, and the Lord Bishop of Durham’s bill seeks to take a substantial step in the right direction,” he said.

Debate on the bill was scheduled to begin in the House of Lords on Friday.

Follow Charles Collins on Twitter: @CharlesinRome