The SNP has said “Sir Keir Starmer has abandoned thousands of families in Scotland to poverty” – as new analysis reveals the areas of Scotland worst hit by the two child cap.

The analysis, conducted by the SNP using the latest data available from the UK government Department for Work and Pensions, reveals Renfrewshire has 720 households affected by the cap, or 54% of those who would otherwise be eligible.

Across Scotland 24,160 families were hit by the cap, which limits the support children are entitled to receive from the social security system.

Campaign groups including the Child Poverty Action Group, the End Child Poverty coalition, and the Poverty Alliance have all called for the cap to be scrapped as it pushes children into deeper poverty.

The cap was introduced by then Chancellor George Osborne as part of the Tory regime in the face of fierce opposition, with the measures coming in force in 2017.

Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP, Gavin Newlands, said the u-turn by Labour was “a shocking indictment on Labour’s priorities”.

He added: “Sir Keir Starmer has abandoned thousands of families in Scotland to poverty by making the political choice to keep the Tory two child cap – demonstrating that independence is the only way to secure real change and a fairer future for Scotland.

“Politics is about priorities. The SNP government has prioritised tackling poverty by introducing progressive policies like the Scottish Child Payment but the damaging policies of the Tories and pro-Brexit Labour Party are pushing children back into poverty and undermining progress.

“Both Labour and Tory parties are happy to hammer the poorest and most vulnerable children in our society, but when it comes to standing up to the profiteers at the helm of energy companies, banks, and big supermarkets, all coining it in through the cost of living crisis, they don’t have the guts to do what is right.

“The SNP is the only party offering real change with independence – and real help with the cost of living. In contrast, Sunak and Starmer have clearly decided tackling poverty and helping families is not a priority for them.

“With the full powers of independence Scotland can scrap the two child cap and go further to eradicate poverty for good. At the next election, voting SNP is the only way to secure independence and get rid of damaging Westminster governments for good.”

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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