Whether you are for or against eradicating child poverty ought not to be a difficult question to answer.
The 8th of July marks eight long years since Conservative Chancellor George Osborne brought forward proposals in the 2015 Budget for the pernicious two child limit in Child Tax Credits and Universal Credit, and the appalling rape clause.
Over this time, I’ve led the charge against this cruel policy. I’m proud that the SNP have been consistent in our opposition – there’s no doubt in my mind that the two-child limit must be scrapped completely.
— The SNP (@theSNP) April 18, 2018
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the Labour Party. Under different leaders, and various DWP spokespeople they’ve gone back and forth over whether the Tories brutal welfare cuts were something they could get on board with.
Back in July 2015, Keir Starmer argued in Parliament that the two-child limit and rape clause policy was “worrying”, “abhorrent” and “regressive” – yet yesterday the Labour leader he told journalists that abolishing it was not Labour Party policy.
Presumably this means Labour now supports having a rape test in the welfare benefits system. This may have come as a surprise to Labour DWP spokesperson Jonathan Ashworth, who was calling for the scrapping of the policy in recent days.
This latest shambles coupled with the numerous Labour U-turns over the years means no one can really believe Labour will stick with anything they say.
👇 Had to update our graphic after another u-turn from Keir Starmer. This time, he's u-turning on his pledge to scrap the cruel two-child cap & rape clause.
🏴 The Scottish Gov't and SNP MPs have opposed these cruel Tory policies since the beginning, and we'll continue to do so. pic.twitter.com/5k4AAF0PvP
— The SNP (@theSNP) July 6, 2023
Each and every year, the figures show thousands more children caught by the policy and dragged into poverty, and yet more women forced to prove they conceived their third child as the result of rape just to put food on the table.
Shockingly, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service previously found women were terminating healthy pregnancies because of this cruel policy.
The pandemic proved that no one can predict the course of their family’s future; even children born into circumstances where they are financially stable can find their world turned upside down when a parent takes ill or dies, loses a job, or a relationship breaks down.
This is exactly why we need a social security safety net – but Westminster has left Britain’s tattered and full of holes.
🏴 The SNP is protecting families from the cost of living crisis:
👉 Tripling support for energy costs
👉 The anti-poverty Scottish Child Payment
👉 Fairer social security system delivering 13 benefits
✂️ Meanwhile, Tory austerity drags us back and pushes people into poverty. pic.twitter.com/SYpBoutaFK
— The SNP (@theSNP) June 1, 2023
The Scottish Child Payment, Best Start grant and the Baby Box have shown a glimpse of the alternative; a Scotland where every child is valued.
Labour’s Tory-lite rhetoric offers no hope to the families stuck in the two-child limit trap. Only independence can guarantee that Scotland gets rid of these poverty-creating policies once and for all.