Local SNP MSP Maree Todd has called on Tory list MSPs for the Highlands and Islands – Douglas Ross MSP, Edward Mountain MSP, and Donald Cameron MSP – to stop acting as mere spokespersons for the UK government and oppose the appalling and inhumane two child limit and rape clause.
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 UK Government pushed through the policies without any scrutiny in the form of a parliamentary debate or vote – leaving many outstanding questions with regards to womens’ 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 Maree Todd said:
“Asking a woman to prove that her child was conceived as a result of rape in order to receive tax credits is utterly appalling and might just be one of the most abhorrent and inhumane polices to ever emanate from Westminster.”
“A choice between potential poverty, or being forced to disclose rape and have someone else decide if that rape even happened, is no choice at all.”
“I am proud that the Scottish Government is opposing this callous two-child cap policy. In doing so they are demonstrating their belief in putting dignity and respect at the heart of any social security system and recognizing that it is their job to support people to get back on their feet, not make it more difficult.”
“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 Tory government at Westminster has stooped to a new low, even by their standards – we’re really seeing them for what they are this week.”
“The Tories in Westminster have to power to scrap the “rape clause” and the two child policy across the whole of the UK – not just in Scotland.”
“It is equally wrong to force a woman to prove that she has been raped in order to receive tax credits whether she lives in Stornoway or Sheffield. This policy will be damaging to women all over the UK.”
“So I put the question to the Tory MSPs representing the Highlands and Islands; do you condemn these appalling policies, or do you stand by your party’s statement that forced disclosure of rape is the “most sensitive way possible” to manage benefits?”
Local MSP Maree Todd represents the Scottish National Party