Sinn Féins Elisha McCallion said
From April this year, child tax credits are limited to the first two children in a family. That it will apply only to new claims makes it no less repugnant.
This decision will have the heaviest impact on low income families and will lead to an increase in child poverty, possibly malnourishment and health problems. It is one of the most short-sighted decisions that any government could contemplate.
Not satisfied with its onslaught on the disabled, the poor, single parents and young people through austerity policies and previous benefit cuts the Tory government of Theresa May is now targeting families with its two child tax credit cap.
As of April, women who have more than two children will be unable to claim tax credits for third or subsequent children. Not only could this be described as the crudest form of social engineering but the inclusion of an abhorrent rape clause is a repulsive attack on the individual civil and human right to privacy of women.
If a third or subsequent child is the result of rape the woman in order to qualify under the clause exemptions must admit to being raped and prove that the child is the result of that attack in order to receive the financial assistance (Tax credit) that she needs. This is totally unacceptable and Sinn Féin will take our demand that this repulsive proposal is rescinded directly to the British Department for Works and Pensions.
The child tax credit system was designed to ensure that families had a sufficient level of income to meet their needs. The overall cap on welfare benefits imposed as part of the Tory austerity programme, fundamentally distorts these safeguards and a person’s needs and their ability to provide for their family.
This two child tax credit limit is a further attack on the ability to meet family needs. It means that even if a family is assessed to require additional support to provide an acceptable level of living standard, if there are more than two children the additional support will be withheld.
As with 86% of the cuts and changes announced in the last budget this tax credit limit will impact more directly on women than on men – where is the equality in that? If elected your MP on June 8th I will champion the Sinn Féin principles of a rights based, equality based society and that most definitely means the rights of women to be treated as equal members of society in every aspect.