Scrap the Rape Clause


  1. Buried in the small print of the 2015 Budget is a proposal to limit tax credits to two children and, in order for a third child to qualify for tax credits, women would have to provide evidence of exceptional circumstances, such as rape.
  2. The idea of restricting child tax credit to two children, effectively implementing a two child policy, is bad enough. However, the idea that women should have to relive a painful and traumatic experience as rape to receive social security payments is not only deeply immoral but would be impossible for DWP staff to assess practically.
  3. A petition was set up, calling on the Government to abandon the policy:
  4. Meanwhile, I and other SNP MPs continued to keep up the pressure on the UK Government to drop the rape clause. We asked several times...
  5. ...and we still got no reply, picking up cross-party support in the process.
  6. I managed to get a question at PMQs on 9th December, and decided to use this opportunity to raise the issue - the seventh time since it was first announced in July.
  7. I still got no detail on the plan from Osborne, who was standing in for David Cameron at PMQs.
  8. Prime Minister's Questions: 9 December 2015
  9. I was lucky enough to get picked for a question at PMQs on 16 December - two weeks in a row! Since I got no answer from Osborne in the previous week I decided to tackle David Cameron directly on the issue - the eighth time it has been raised at Westminster.
  10. Again, no detail on the plan and no commitment from the PM to drop this unworkable policy.