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Jul 19th, 2023

“What is Labour for if it fails to support children in poverty?” 38 Degrees supporters’ messages to Keir Starmer

By 38 Degrees team

If you had the opportunity to instantly lift a quarter of a million kids out of poverty by scrapping a harmful government policy, would you take it? If you’re Labour leader Keir Starmer, the answer this week seems to be: no thanks.

With Starmer refusing to commit to scrapping the cruel two-child benefit cap if he were PM – a policy that’s hurting over a million children in poverty – the 38 Degrees community came together in droves to make our views known: by sending personal messages directly to his office. Here are just a few of them.

  • “As a Labour Party member I am appalled at your announcement that a Labour Government would not scrap the two-child benefit cap. Many experts have testified that this vicious policy is a major cause and aggravator of poverty in the UK. I understand that you do not want to make unfunded promises. However in this case the money has to be found.” – Sean Dunne
  • “I am appalled and disgusted by your lack of support for families who are struggling desperately to feed, clothe and educate their children. The degree of child poverty in the UK in the 21st century should be an affront to any right thinking citizen, never mind a political leader who calls himself Labour.” – Anne Mckay
  • “I have always voted for Labour but I will think very seriously next time round as your refusal to scrap the child benefit cap is mean minded and will affect thousands of innocent and vulnerable children.” – Jeanne Marie Bini
  • “Dear Mr Starmer, demonstrating ‘strength’ by bashing the weakest demonstrates the opposite. Discover some genuine strength and admit an error.” – Ian Wall
  • “You stand on a policy of putting families first but how is this two child benefit cap going to help poor families? I hope that you, in the name of compassion for the poor, will change your mind on this cruel policy and put proper Labour values back on the front line for the Labour Party.” – Anne Ranker
  • “I so want to vote for you and your party in the next election… This government seems particularly lacking in compassion and care and I am praying that under Labour we will see more kindness and compassion for those who are struggling. I urge you to consider abolishing the cap on the two child benefits.” – Cathy Johnson
  • “What is the Labour party for, if it doesn’t want to help families forced into poverty by a cruel Tory policy? There are so many ways of funding it… I don’t believe this decision is going to win Labour any votes.” – Guy Johnson
  • “I’ve voted Labour all my life… but I am seriously considering, with a heavy heart, transferring my support to the Greens following your decision not to repeal the two-child benefit cap” – Maggie Solley
  • “[I] can scarcely believe that it would not be a top Labour priority to immediately lift so many children out of poverty by removing this immoral cap at what would be a relatively small cost to the exchequer. If you won’t commit to this then I for one no longer have any idea of what Labour is supposed to stand for.” – Susan Murray
  • “What is Labour for if it fails to support children in poverty?” – Arnold Zermansky
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