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Forth Valley Rape Crisis position on the Child Tax Credit 2017 reform

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept…” - Angela Y. Davis


In his autumn statement in 2015, George Osborne states that poorer families should be more responsible when considering how many children they have. Not only is this ill-informed and discriminatory, it has been proved in other countries which have implemented a similar cap on the number of children a family have, this has not led to a reduction in the number of children in low income families, but results in a higher number of children experiencing poverty at the hands of the state.

The Child Tax Credit reform disproportionately affects minority and disadvantaged groups within our society, plunging women and their children into poverty without consideration for their access to resources, beliefs around reproduction and contraception, and experiences of abuse.

Since 2010, 86% of cuts have come from the pockets of women, highlighting a clear ideological attack on women’s rights. By reducing women’s access to financial resources, their opportunities to flee abuse or provide for their families are severely limited. This is not an acceptable outcome in any circumstance and we condemn any measures with this result. We want to support women and feel that the best way we can do this is to challenge this policy rather than participate in it. We cannot see how this policy can be justified or implemented as it discriminates against numerous intersections of our society, perpetuates rape myths and we have been given no information about how this will be implemented. The UK Government has stated that there would be no pressure on women to report sexual violence to the police, but with the lack of clarity on how this information will be handled, we cannot be certain that there won’t be any negative outcomes from this process.

Forth Valley Rape Crisis will continue to campaign to eradicate the Child Tax Credit reform. We are an organisation built on fighting oppression and we will not collude in this policy or any other policies which set us back in our aims.

The current UK Government have implemented this policy, but the Scottish Parliament have been overwhelmingly critical of the reform and claimed that this will not be carried out in Scotland. We welcome the support of all those who continue to resist this discriminatory and harmful policy.


 

Loraine Williams

Prevention Worker

Forth Valley Rape Crisis

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