The family cap limits tax credits to only two children per family – unless the mother can prove that a third child was conceived as a result of rape or during an abusive relationship.
The Tories railroaded through these policies without a parliamentary debate or vote – leaving many outstanding questions with regards to women’s rights, the impact on child poverty, as well as how the hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals will be trained to assess evidence of rape.
Many sexual violence support charities such as Rape Crisis Scotland and Scottish Women’s Aid have said they will refuse to act as third party verifiers for the UK government, not least due to the trauma and stigma that the rape assessment process will cause both survivors and children of rape. SNP MP Alison Thewliss has led the campaign to scrap the grotesque two child policy and rape clause.
SNP MSP Colin Beattie for Midlothian North and Musselburgh said:
“The Tory policy that has become known as the rape clause, requiring women to disclose deeply personal information and prove that a third or subsequent child was conceived as a result of rape in order to claim tax credits, is both disgraceful and disgusting.
“Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Tories should be thoroughly ashamed of their party but instead they are defending the indefensible welfare cuts coming from Westminster.
“The two child policy will mean a loss of up to £2,800 every year per child for hardworking families – driving up child poverty after the UK government scrapped their child poverty targets.
“I will continue to fight these heartless policies and I have written to Conservative MSPs Jeremy Balfour, Miles Briggs, Gordon Lindhurst and Rachael Hamilton for the Lothian area - asking them to stand up for the dignity and human rights of Women in Scotland and condemn these utterly appalling Tory Government policies.”