Immediately following First Minister’s Questions on Thursday 20th April, politicians from all of Scotland’s parties apart from the Conservatives joined campaigners outside Holyrood to protest the Tory imposed family cap 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 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, and has received cross-party support with the exception of the Tories.
Commenting after the protest, Ruth said:
“Today I stood together with the First Minister and other political colleagues – with the exception of the Tories – to protest the disgraceful and disgusting policy that is the Tory family cap and rape clause.
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.
And the rape clause forces women to choose between poverty or disclosing deeply personal and traumatic information to a third party.
Whilst the Tories defend the indefensible welfare cuts coming from Westminster, Scotland’s other political parties are uniting to condemn these heartless and inhumane policies – and we will continue to do so.”