The Tory government has been accused of remaining wedded to the ‘obscene’ two-child limit and rape clause, as a damning new report reveals how the policy has negatively impacted 350,000 families and 1.25 million children in the four years since it was imposed.
The report by Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), published today, also found the impact of the two-child limit on families has been compounded by other Tory cuts to social security, including benefit freezes and the benefit cap.
CPAG analysis shows before COVID-19, £36billion per year had been cut from social security as a result of Tory policies since 2010.
Since April 2017, parents having a third or subsequent child are no longer eligible for support through child tax credit and universal credit if they need it. This support is worth up to £2,830 per child per year.
The policy includes a controversial caveat – the rape clause – meaning that, in order to claim for third or subsequent children conceived through rape, women must make a declaration to the DWP, reliving previous trauma.
Commenting, SNP Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss MP said: “The Tory government has pushed millions of people into poverty with its barbaric cuts to social security. It’s obscene that they remain so wedded to the two-child cap and rape clause – despite the overwhelming evidence of the damage it is doing to our society. It must be scrapped.
“Covid has exposed the deep inequality that exists under the broken Westminster system. While the SNP government is putting money into people’s pockets with progressive policies like the Scottish Child Payment – the Tories are taking billions away with cuts to family budgets.
“The DWP’s own statistics show the damaging impact their policies are having, with an unmistakable increase in poverty levels amongst families with three children or more, and
47 percent of children in these families now living in poverty.
“Not only does this harmful Tory policy make it increasingly difficult for families to get by in these challenging times, there is evidence that it forces women into an impossible choice between serious financial difficulty or terminating a pregnancy.
“Scotland doesn’t have to put up with endless Tory cuts at Westminster. By casting both votes for the SNP on 6th May we can put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands and get on with building the fairer society we all want to see.”