Tom Brake signs cross-party letter to Prime Minister asking him to drop the “rape clause”

Tom Brake is one of MPs from nine parties who has signed a letter to the Prime Minister asking him to withdraw the ill-thought out “rape clause” which was part of the measures brought in in the Budget.

George Osborne capped tax credits and benefits at two children, a measure Liberal Democrats had blocked throughout the Coalition years. Within the detail, SNP MP Alison Thewliss discovered a clause which said that women who had had a third child as a result of being raped would be exempt. How do you actually prove that to a DWP official? It’s such an ill-thought out, cruel policy. As if the principle of capping benefits at two children wasn’t bad enough, this took its cruelty to a whole new level. No woman should have to prove rape to access basic benefits for her child.

Since then, Alison has been pursuing the Government at every opportunity to say how exactly this policy will be implemented, but hasn’t had an answer, satisfactory or otherwise.

She’s managed to get support from her position from right across the House, leading to today’s letter:

It says:

it is our strong belief that this policy will only stigmatise women who and children who have already had to suffer unimaginable pain and torment.

In the meantime, the petition to Parliament on the matter needs just over a 100 signatures to get to the point where the Government has to respond. If you agree that the ignominious rape clause should be scrapped, please sign.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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One Comment

  • David Allen 28th Jan '16 - 5:23pm

    Well, of course, there is only one thing that would be even worse than providing an exemption in the case of rape. That would be, to refuse an exemption in the case of rape.

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