Keir Starmer simply cannot keep this crazy two child benefit cap

Keir Starmer
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar is right to push Keir Starmer on the two-child benefit cap.

It is a cruel Tory policy which hurts the poorest in society the most. The cap has plunged children into poverty at an alarming rate and caused misery.

Two million kids born after 2017 are already hit by the limit. Another quarter of a million children will be affected in the next year and it is set to increase to 670,000 by the end of this parliament.

That is unacceptable and must not go ahead. The new Prime Minister has been right to say that tackling child poverty will be “central” to his government.

If he is serious, then the terrible two-child cap has to go. The Conservatives have left the UK in a shocking state.

They crashed the economy and left our public finances in tatters. But as a country, we can surely afford to get rid of this benefit limit.

There has to be a means of raising funds to help the poorest in society, especially during the cost-of-living crisis. We can’t afford to plunge thousands of kids into poverty by continuing this policy.

While keeping the cap may save some money in the short term, it will do harm in the long term. The cap is a disgrace and must be abolished as soon as possible.

Payback time

Every Thursday during the pandemic we stood on our doorsteps to applaud the NHS workers who risked their lives to care for us.

But when they got sick and ended up with long Covid because of their dedication, no one was there for them. Nurses like Brenda Eadie caught Covid on the frontline and have never recovered. They are in pain every day.

Many have lost their careers and homes and have been left to rely on foodbanks. Brenda is one of several who have made attempts on their own lives, after feeling devoid of hope for a meaningful future.

This is no way to reward NHS workers who gave so much of themselves during the height of Covid. The Scottish Government was allocated £21million to deal with long Covid but spent only a fraction of it.

Now is the time to loosen the purse strings and get the sufferers the help they truly need before the Covid death toll rises unnecessarily.

Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond - Sign up to our daily newsletter here.