I have launched a campaign which calls on the UK Government to scrap its proposed “rape clause” in its benefits policy. In the Chancellor’s budget in July 2015, buried within the small print, the UK Government plans to restrict child benefit to two children and force women to provide evidence of exceptional circumstances, such as rape, to claim tax credits for a third child from April 2016. I believe that women having to prove that they had been raped to DWP employees in order to receive social security payments is morally wrong and would cause needless additional trauma, as well as being completely unworkable in practice.
I’ve highlighted this deeply flawed policy to UK Government ministers, including the Prime Minister, several times in the House of Commons. I put my support towards a petition which received 10,000 signatures in January 2016, forcing the UK Government to issue a written response to the petition and defend this unjust policy. Despite the UK Government running a consultation in October 2016, in which several respondents severely criticised the policy, they intend to press ahead with introducing the policy in April 2017.