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Is the child tax credit rape clause fair?
Currently there is a cap that means a parent can only claim child tax credit for two children. However they are exempt if they have another child by "non-consensual conception".

The government said it had introduced the limit for a claimant's first two children, because it wanted "people on benefits to make the same choices as those supporting themselves solely through work".

Exemptions were announced for those adopting children, those involved in care and for multiple births, as well as those who had a child conceived "as a result of a sexual act which you didn't or couldn't consent to" or "at a time when you were in an abusive relationship, under ongoing control or coercion by the other parent of the child".

However, this policy discriminates against those who have a child conceived under normal circumstances and forces victims of rape to endure additional trauma, by making them prove they had been raped just to receive child benefits. As well as the requirement to prove they were raped, they are also expected to fill in a form of their declaration which must be verified by a third party professional.

We feel this is simply unfair and discrimination by the state. We urge the government to rethink the child tax credit system to treat all claimants with respect and dignity.
Published: February 2018

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