Labour's Weasel Words on 'Rape Clause'

May 20, 2017

UK Labour’s manifesto is depressingly unclear on how it will deal with the infamous ‘rape clause’, which came into force this week.


The abhorrent ‘rape clause’, introduced by the Conservative Government, limits the number of children for whom tax credits can be claimed to two.


Under extreme pressure over this policy, the government allowed access to additional tax credits if a child was designated as the result of rape.


The SNP and several children’s charities have condemned the policy of officially labelling a child as the result of forced sex as ‘abhorrent’.


Labour’s manifesto, published this week, also rightly condemns the clause, but unacceptably fails to spell out how it will be ended, it states: 


"The cuts to work allowances in Universal Credit (UC), and the decision to limit tax credit and UC payments to the first two children in a family, are an attack on low-income families and will increase child poverty. Labour will reform and redesign UC, ending six-week delays in payment and the ‘rape clause’."


A strong team of SNP MPs, who have campaigned against this vile policy since it was announced, will continue to do so if re-elected on 8th June.


Given the high profile this issue has had over the past year, it is unacceptable that Labour has failed to spell out how they will deal with the rape clause. 


The policy of dividing children into those who will receive support from the wider community and those who won’t is the source of the problem.


By not committing to scrap the two-child limit, Labour reduces its manifesto comments on the rape clause to weasel words, designed to gain support, but without making a clear commitment.


The idea that a child must be labelled as the product of rape to gain access to support should be confined to history. That is what the SNP has campaigned for since the policy was announced, and what I will continue to pursue if re-elected on June 8th.



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