'Another U-Turn': Yvette Cooper Roasted Over Labour Plans To Keep Tory Benefit Cap

Susanna Reid didn't let the shadow home secretary off the hook easily.
Labour leader Keir Starmer and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper have faced criticism over the party's latest U-turn.
Labour leader Keir Starmer and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper have faced criticism over the party's latest U-turn.
Owen Humphreys - PA Images via Getty Images

Yvette Cooper squirmed when questioned over Labour’s plans to hold onto the Conservatives’ controversial two-child benefits cap on Monday.

It comes after her party leader Keir Starmer revealed on Sunday he was now going to keep the policy which stops parents from being able to claim child tax credit or universal credit for any third or subsequent child born after April 2017.

Starmer previously said during his leadership campaign that the two-child limit and benefits cap from the Conservatives needed to be scrapped.

The shadow home secretary was then pressured by Good Morning Britain’s host Susanna Reid over this apparent change of heart from Starmer.

Reid said: “This is another U-turn, isn’t it? And it’s something which could really ease the cost of living crisis for thousands of families.

“Why has he changed his mind?”

Cooper replied: “You’re right that the cost of living crisis is hitting families across the country, and people are really struggling – you’ve got mortgages going up now after the disastrous mini-budget last year, you’ve got people facing real pressure from rising food prices as well.”

She claimed Labour still plan to tackle the cost of living crisis, and will “always make sure that the proposals we might forward are fully-costed, so we can actually deliver them”.

But Reid hit back and said what people actually need “is an alternative plan” to the current system imposed by the Conservatives.

The Child Poverty Action Group has claimed the cap is “pushing families into deep poverty”, affecting 1.5 million children.

The group claimed scrapping it would cost £1.3 billion, but would lift 250,000 children out of poverty and help 850,000 be in less deep poverty.

The Good Morning Britain host continued: “The fact is Keir Starmer thought it was worth pursuing, but then U-turned on it. Just one of a number of U-turns he’s done.”

Cooper again referred to Labour’s commitment to funding its proposals, referring to the free breakfast clubs which will be funded by scrapping the non-dom tax loophole.

Starmer’s own work and pensions secretary Jon Ashworth described the policy as “heinous” only last month, and in February 2020, Starmer himself tweeted that he wanted to “scrap it” to address the UK’s “vast social injustice”.

Starmer has come under fire for renegading on other previous pledges in recent months, too.

This includes dropping plans to nationalise more public services, scrapping plans to completely end NHS outsourcing, watering down support for trade union amid strikes and pledges to abolish Universal Credit.

Plans to drop university tuition fees have also disappeared, along with a pledge to unveil a digital services tax plan if Labour get into office, and pledges to scrap the House of Lords.

His allegiances within his party seem to have shifted in the years since he won the leadership role as well. He has distanced himself from former leader Jeremy Corbyn and the left of the party, and briefly attempted to water down deputy leader Angela Rayner’s responsibilities (before U-turning on that, too).


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