- Alfie Baron
Alison Thewliss has been tirelessly campaigning to scrap a specific clause in the rules for tax credit entitlement. If a mother wishes to claim tax credits for a third, or subsequent child, who was born as a result of a rape she is required to provide some evidence or verification that the rape claim is true. Assessments could possibly be made by health workers, police, social workers or rape charities.
This has now become law without any debate or vote in parliament after it was added to existing legislation as an amendment. The plans will come into effect within a month.
Ms Thewliss has campaigned tor this "rape clause" to be scrapped saying it is an “underhand parliamentary tactic” to introduce the measure without proper scrutiny.
Ms Thewliss said she had tabled a motion of prayer for annulment, a somewhat arcane version of the early day motion, in which a group of MPs sign a paper calling for a statutory instrument to be scrapped.
Alison Thewliss moaned: “Using such an underhand parliamentary tactic to railroad the rape clause into law is just the final insult this government could possibly dish out,” she said. “Not only did ministers sneak out their shameful consultation response as the eyes of the world were watching Donald Trump’s inauguration, but they’re now trying to put the rape clause on the statute books without a vote or debate, let alone any detailed scrutiny by MPs.
A government spokesman said: “It’s absolutely right that we have the right exemptions in place and we have thought carefully about how we will work with charities and health and social care professionals to support victims of rape. We will be publishing guidance shortly.”
Alison Thewliss on Twitter: