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Gavin Newlands MP calls for public response on rape clause policy

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, is calling on local constituents to help reject plans from the Tory government to restrict tax credits to two children and introduce a “medieval” rape clause for vulnerable women who have been raped.

Last year, the UK Government announced plans to restrict tax credits to two children and force women to provide evidence of exceptional circumstances, such as rape, to claim tax credits for a third child from April next year.

Local MP Gavin Newlands believes that women having to prove that they have been raped to DWP employees in order to receive social security payments is morally wrong and would cause needless additional trauma, as well as being completely unworkable in practice.

After 15 months of campaigning by the SNP, the UK Government has finally relented and put the policy out to public consultation. Now, local MP Gavin Newlands is calling on constituents in Renfrewshire to respond and reject the proposals before the consultation closes on Sunday 27th November.

He is urging constituents to email CAXTONHOUSE.CHILDELEMENTCONSULTATION@DWP.GSI.GOV.UK and place on record their fundamental opposition to the policy. The full consultation document can be viewed at

Commenting, Gavin Newlands MP said:

“For fifteen months, the SNP has been fighting this Tory government’s medieval plans to introduce a rape clause and a two child policy, which is tantamount to social engineering.

"It has been suggested by the Government that a letter be issued to survivors of rape which they could keep to prove they were exempt from the two child policy and could be presented as and when required. This is totally unacceptable and I'll be making that point in my own submission.

"One question this Government can't answer is how limiting tax credits to two children per family fits in with its family test for policy. Put simply, this policy is anti-family and will stigmatise children.

"There are just far too many unanswered questions and concerns around this policy. I am hopeful that by putting this out to consultation, the UK Government will finally realise that this policy is unworkable and immoral. I would therefore encourage everyone to respond and help defeat this appalling Tory proposal.”

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