KILMARNOCK AND LOUDON MP has added his voice to critics of the UK Labour Party's decision to stick to Conservative limits on benefits available to families with children.

Alan Brown says that hundreds of households in East Ayrshire receiving Universal Credit or Child Tax Credits have been affected by the Conservative government's decision to cap the benefits at two children per family.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer recently announced that his party will retain the 'two children' cap if it wins the next UK General Election - a move that sparked widespread criticism, not least from Labour's Scottish leader, Anas Sarwar, who said he opposed the cap and would press a future Labour government at Westminster to "move as fast as they can within our fiscal rules to remove this heinous policy”.

According to Mr Brown, by percentage of households hit across Scotland, East Ayrshire comes off worse, with three in five households (59 per cent) in receipt of Universal Credit or Child Tax Credits not receiving financial support for at least one child in April 2023.

A similar letter to Sir Keir has been written by Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock MP Allan Dorans.

Mr Brown said in his letter to the Labour leader: "As the MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun, I write to express my concern at your party's decision to U-turn on the abolition of the two-child benefit cap.

"That decision has rightly been condemned by charities and politicians alike, including many of your own colleagues both at Westminster and at Holyrood.

"The evidence is clear: the two-child benefit cap drags children into poverty, but also predominately impacts working families too – families who are already struggling to get by in the UK’s low-wage Brexit-based economy.

“So much so, East Ayrshire Council has the highest percentage of universal credit claimants affected by this policy in Scotland.

"59 per cent of households who are in receipt of Universal Credit or Child Tax Credits are impacted by this “cruel and inhumane” policy – a phrase used by your own Deputy Leader.

"I am angry that a policy that has such a devasting impact on innocent children in my constituency is now apparently supported by the Labour Party.

"This is a shameful legacy that the Tories have created and one that your party are set to continue.

"A failure to U-turn will mean the Labour party have abandoned thousands of families in Scotland to poverty - leaving voters in no doubt that voting SNP is the only way to secure independence and get rid of damaging Westminster governments for good.

"I urge you to reconsider your party's position on this callous policy. I note too that many Labour MPs are arguing that they want the policy overturned but cannot afford to do so just yet. This is at odds with your unequivocal stance when you stated clearly “We are not changing that policy”.

“I look forward to hearing from you.”