Esther McVey Slammed For Claim That Rape Clause ‘Supports’ Women
Labour have slammed Esther McVery after she claimed that the two-child policy and rape clause exception ‘supports’ women.
The Work and Pensions Secretary, who was booted out of Parliament by the people of Wirral West in 2015 before being parachuted into the Tory safe seat of Tatton in last year’s general election, made the remarks in front of Holyrood’s Social Security Committee.
The rape clause is an exception to the Government’s ‘two-child’ tax credit policy, which caps the amount of money a family can receive. The policy is widely reviled, both for forcing victims of rape to go through bureaucratic procedure just to receive their social security entitlement, and for punishing the children of parents who dare to have children while failing to be wealthy.
Pauline McNeill MSP did not mince her words:
“This was a disgraceful performance from a Work and Pensions Secretary who is completely out of touch with the reality of life for low income women on tax credits.
“To badge up the vile rape clause as some sort of virtuous policy to provide support is simply skin-crawling.
“The rape clause is a policy created by the Tory government’s ideological obsession to deliver tax cuts for the richest and big business paid for by cutting support for the poorest.”
Margaret Greenwood MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary who won the seat from McVey in 2015, was equally disgusted by McVey’s remarks:
“Esther McVey has completely failed to address the very serious issue of woman being forced to reveal a profoundly traumatic experience to access a benefit.
“To suggest this might offer a woman ‘an outlet’ to discuss what has happened shows a lack of sensitivity and awareness of a woman’s feelings about such a violent and appalling crime.
“Forcing a burden of proof upon survivors of rape is morally wrong. Esther McVey should retract her comments and issue an apology.
“Labour will scrap the ‘rape clause’ and transform the social security system so it is there for all those who need it.”