Over 300 protesters took to Glasgow’s George Square last night to demonstrate against the UK government’s changes to child tax credits.
The reforms would introduce a ‘family cap’ to the benefit meaning women can only claim welfare for two children unless it can be proven that any subsequent children are a result of rape or an abusive relationship.
The move has been condemned by multiple psychologists and women’s groups such as Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland for pressuring women to prove that they experienced sexual violence.
In response to the growing controversy The Department for Work and Pensions have claimed the exemption to the family cap will be implemented “compassionately”.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson broke her silence this week to declare, via a spokesperson, that the clause brought women on benefits in line with those who work.
Statement released by my spokesman on child tax credits represents my view. Will be writing to constituents who have contacted me this week.
— Ruth Davidson (@RuthDavidsonMSP) April 12, 2017
She told the BBC: “This is about ensuring that people in extreme circumstances are not penalised for those extreme circumstances and they are not dragged into a system that they are exempted from.”
First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon criticised the opposition leader’s stance, claiming there was no way to defend the family cap.
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) April 12, 2017
Speakers at the protest included the SNP MP’S Alison Thewliss and Mhairi Black, Sandy Brindley from Rape Crisis Scotland, Mridul Wadhwa from Shakti Women’s Aid and activist Talat Yaqoob.
Protesters were urged to sign and share the online petition calling on the UK government to scrap the “rape clause” and listen to the experts who have said the changes will violate women’s rights.