Trade Unions condemn 2 child tax credit ‘rape clause’ rule.

6 Apr 2017

On Thursday the 6th April, an amendment to the tax credit system will be introduced across the UK, including in Northern Ireland. This little publicised change will mean that families will only be entitled to child tax credits for their first two children born after 6th April 2017 unless they fit into a number of exceptions, including proving that a third+ child was conceived as a result of ‘non-consensual conception’.

Speaking on the day the changes are due to come into effect, ICTU Equality Officer Clare Moore said:

‘The trade union movement absolutely condemns this inhumane and badly thought out piece of legislation. Requiring women to prove that they conceived their third child as a result of rape in order to access child tax credits is a new low for a Government which has already pushed thousands of families into poverty’.

‘This law condemns women to choose between poverty and the stigmatisation of their child as a rape child. And the threat of poverty is very real indeed, analysis for the Guardian showed that a family whose third child is born before midnight on Wednesday 5th April could be up to £50,000 better off over 18 years than one whose child is born on Thursday when this law is due to come into effect’.

‘In Northern Ireland, the situation is further complicated, as all serious crimes must be reported to police. So any woman applying for tax credits for a third child can expect an interview from police about their rape allegation, resulting in further trauma as well as the very real risk of danger from their rapist.’

‘It is quite clear that this law discriminates against women and poor women in particular. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions is working with the Women’s Aid Federation of Northern Ireland to call for this law to be immediately scrapped.’