The Daily Telegraph

Lady Blair urges Starmer to scrap two-child benefit cap

- By Dominic Penna Political correspond­ent

LADY BLAIR has urged Sir Keir Starmer to remove the two-child benefits cap on parents claiming child benefits if he wins power at the general election.

The wife of Sir Tony Blair, the former prime minister, said youth poverty was not being taken seriously enough and called on a prospectiv­e Labour government to “make a difference”.

Sir Keir has confirmed he would keep the two-child cap, reversing a pledge he made during his leadership campaign. The threshold means most families cannot claim tax credit or Universal Credit for a third child.

Its abolition is among recommenda- tions in a Children’s Prosperity Plan report, which is endorsed by Lady Blair and aims to lift one million British children out of relative poverty by 2030.

Lady Blair told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I am absolutely convinced that broad, cross-party campaigns about issues like this really can make a difference. And this is why this is a whole group of people – political parties but also no political parties, NGOS, companies – anyone who is interested in making sure the next generation of our children grow up well-equipped to face the challenges of the 21st century.”

Asked if child poverty was “not get- ting the attention it deserved”, Lady Blair replied: “I’m afraid that must be the case because if it was getting the attention it deserved, we wouldn’t have seen an increase in relative poverty, which we have over the last 10 years.”

Pressed on why the Labour front bench was refusing to support the reports’ recommenda­tions, she said: “I think everybody, of whatever party, needs to care about the future of our country, and the future of our country is tied up with the future of our children.”

Sir Keir has doubled down on his change of heart, saying in July: “We keep saying collective­ly, as a party, that we have to make tough decisions and in the abstract everyone says, ‘That’s right, Keir.’

“But then we get into the tough decision and they say, ‘We don’t like that, can we just not make that one?’... but we have to take the tough decisions.”

 ?? ?? Lady Blair, the wife of former prime minister Sir Tony Blair, has urged Labour to do away with the two-child benefit cap
Lady Blair, the wife of former prime minister Sir Tony Blair, has urged Labour to do away with the two-child benefit cap

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