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This week I took the unusual step of penning a letter to Labour Party leader, Sir Keir Starmer MP as shown in the attached graphic.

The two-child benefit cap affects more than 80,000 Scottish children, with the latest analysis indicating that 740 households here in North Ayrshire hit by the policy have not received support for at least one child as a result.

The Tory Government’s two-child limit, introduced in 2017 restricts targeted social security support to the first two children in a household, regardless of how much paid work parents undertake. The policy has caused real and lasting harm and places huge pressure on affected families during this Tory-inflicted cost of living crisis.

Every year the two-child limit remains in place, more and more children will be impacted, as more are born into a UK that sees fit to punish them for having more than one sibling.

Labour now embraces this shameful Tory policy, as Sir Keir performs the latest in a long line of policy u-turns, despite stating in 2020 that scrapping the two-child limit was one of his “ideas to tackle the vast social injustice in our country.”

Now both the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition have made it clear that tackling child poverty and helping families is not a priority for either of them.

My letter urges Sir Keir to reconsider his party’s position. The evidence is clear that the two-child cap drags children into poverty and predominately impacts working families already struggling in the UK’s low-wage economy.

If Labour won’t stand up for even for the most basic level of fairness, then the question must be asked – what is their purpose?

Labour has abandoned families here in North Ayrshire and across Scotland to poverty. The message is that with Tory or Labour in government, child poverty is here to stay.

I and my SNP colleagues strongly oppose the punitive two-child cap, which undermines the Scottish Government’s efforts to reduce Scotland’s child poverty.

As a priority, the SNP Government has taken more than 90,000 children out of poverty with progressive policies such as the £25 a week Scottish Child Payment and the Best Start Grant, but for every step we take forward, damaging Westminster policies drag us down.

Mr Starmer’s decision to replicate the Tories is yet another example of his willingness to abandon any political principles in a bid to win an election at any cost. This latest retreat came only days after Labour failed to win over Tory voters in Boris Johnson’s former seat in a by-election. Now Sir Keir opposes an extension of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, despite knowing it will save 500 lives a year, because it is expedient, even though he knows the policy is the right thing to do.

With the now pro-Brexit Labour Party all but indistinguishable from the Tories, it’s clear that Westminster is incapable of delivering the change Scotland needs. Voting SNP is the only way to secure independence and escape damaging Westminster governments for good.


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