Davidson under fire over failure to raise tax credit ‘rape clause’ with DWP

DWP HQ, Caxton House, London. Photo: Paul Billanie for Welfare Weekly.

Ruth Davidson is under fire for failing to approach the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about the “rape clause” and family cap since these policies came into effect at the beginning of April, new FOI details can reveal.

The FOI response from the DWP shows that the leader of the Scottish Conservatives has failed to engage with the department on the issue, despite the huge opposition to the rape clauses from the public, the BMA and charities like Rape Crisis Scotland and Scottish Women’s Aid, as well as condemnation from the High Court.

The rape clause and family cap came into effect on 6th April 2017 and a demonstration was held to #ScraptheRapeClause in Glasgow’s George Square on 13th April.

Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP (SNP) said: “The family cap is wrong in principle, and it is wrong that any woman should have to prove she has been raped in order to claim support for one of her children, as is the case with the inhumane rape clause.

“The fact that Ruth Davidson hasn’t even approached the DWP to discuss these contemptible policies since they were introduced shows just how little she cares about the impact they are having.

SNP launch campaign against tax credits ‘rape clause’. Photo Credit: SNP/Alison Thewliss MP.

“The Scots Tory leader has falsely claimed on a number of occasions that all you need to do is ‘tick a box’ to receive the benefits, when the reality is much more traumatic and damaging than that.

“The family cap will drag hundreds of thousands more children below the poverty line, leaving working families unable to make up for the cut, and the High Court has ruled that the DWP’s policy discriminates against the poorest families in our society.

“And the trauma and stigma that the rape assessment process will cause both survivors and children of rape is unthinkable.

“We can’t pretend these policies aren’t affecting people’s lives, and the fact Ruth Davidson hasn’t lifted a finger to object to them speaks volumes about her priorities.

“The DWP need to urgently rethink these abhorrent policies, which are quite clearly a violation of fundamental human rights and contrary to the best interests of children.”

This is an official press release from the Scottish National Party (SNP).