Rape victims' rights in tax credit reforms questioned

Written by Tom Freeman on 15 July 2015 in News

SNP question two-child restriction for tax credits claims at Prime Minister's questions

Prime Minister David Cameron has been asked to clarify whether changes to tax credits would force rape victims to justify their claim for a third child to the taxman to secure child tax credits.

Tax and universal credits are to be limited to the first two children, according to Chancellor George Osborne’s budget speech.

The Department for Work and Pensions and HMRC have been asked to “develop protections for women who have a third child as a result of rape or other exceptional circumstances”, and SNP group leader Angus Robertson MP used Prime Minister’s questions today to seek clarification on the issue.


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“Women who have been raped should not have to justify it for tax reasons. The Prime Minister needs to grasp the impact his policy will have on rape victims.

“Rape is one of the most unreported and poorly prosecuted serious crimes in the UK – most surveys suggest that 85 per cent of women who are raped just don’t report it for a whole variety of reasons,” he said.

The Prime Minster said he was happy to look closely at the issue, and that the Government did not intend to penalise people "but the principle we're applying is a principle I think set out very clearly by the leader of the Labour party when she said this: 'When I was going round the country speaking to women, so often they'd say 'we've got one child and we'd love to have another, but we can't afford it'.”

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