Shocking figures released by HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs) today have revealed that 190 women were forced to fill in forms under the Tory government’s ‘rape clause’ legislation to ‘prove’ they became pregnant through rape.
Government rules now only pay child benefit for a woman’s first two children – unless she can prove that a third or later child was conceived forcibly. The humiliating requirement, involving the completion of eight pages of ‘evidence’ to support an application, has been widely condemned as adding to the ordeal of rape victims and an affront to humanity.
DWP Secretary Esther McVey, who recently told everyone how wonderful the government’s hellish Universal Credit system is, appears not to intend to comment on this new horror – but in April a committee meeting at the Scottish parliament had to be suspended twice after McVey outraged listeners by claiming that the rule provided ‘double support’ to rape victims.
By giving them money and an ‘opportunity to talk’ about their ordeal:
Eight years of depth-plumbing Tory government mean it’s rare that the Conservatives astonish with their callousness and crassness – but McVey managed it stomach-turningly. She has also exemplified Tory cowardice by not appearing to defend the policy in the light of HMRC’s revelation today.
Labour’s Shadow DWP Secretary Margaret Greenwood did speak out, however. She told the SKWAWKBOX:
It’s completely unacceptable that women have to prove that they have been the victim of rape to be exempt from the two child limit.
We need a social security system that treats people with respect.
The rape clause is also thought to be contributing to the already-skyrocketing child poverty. One in five UK children are currently living in poverty and the Tories know that their policies are expected to increase this number dramatically.
There appears to be no plight or anguish that the Tories will not trample upon in their pursuit of their failed ideology. Inflicting hardships on victims of rape and on their children is about the clearest demonstration that the UK simply cannot get free of Tory government quickly enough.
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