SNP MP, Alison Thewliss, will lead a debate today in Westminster Hall calling on the UK government to scrap the two child cap and ‘rape clause’ on working tax credits and Universal Credit.
The Glasgow Central MP described the policy, which limits the social security claimants can receive based on how many children they have, as ‘unspeakably cruel’ and demanded Tories end their dystopian policies punishing families and forcing survivors of sexual assualt to relive trauma.
Over 1.1 million people are affected by the policy which the UK is alone in the world in implementing, being the sole country to limit benefits past 2 children.
Alison Thewliss, the party’s Shadow Chancellor, said that due to the cost of living crisis the Tories must reconsider the policy and introduce further measures to alleviate households’ cost concerns.
The SNP are also calling for the introduction of the Real Living Wage, a reversal to Tory Universal Credit cuts, the turning of the energy support loan into a more generous grant and a u-turn on national insurance hikes.
Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:
“This is an unspeakably cruel policy that hasn’t worked to achieve its dystopian purpose and is now only exacerbating the cost of living concerns families are experiencing – with over 1 million people affected by this policy.
“Families shouldn’t be punished for having children, nor have limits placed on them by the government over how many they can have, and in no civilised country should survivors of sexual assault be made to relive trauma to prove they’ve been raped to access vital benefits – that is disgusting.
“The policy has been wrong from the beginning, that the Tories haven’t scrapped it on moral grounds is nothing short of a disgrace but they must at least now listen to our concerns given its impact on the cost of living crisis.
“This policy is yet further proof that it hasn’t just been Tory inaction that has led to this crisis, but also direct Tory action with cruel policies such as this one.
“In stark contrast the Scottish Government is providing for families with a, recently doubled, Scottish Child Payment – putting over £1,000 a year into the pockets of families in Scotland.
“If the Tories won’t listen to us now it’ll prove, once again, that only with the full powers of independence can we provide support to families with the dignity and fairness they deserve and put more support on the table for households.”