EHRC warns the controversial ‘rape clause’ could be in breach of human rights laws and urged the UK Government to reconsider the policy.
The Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has written to the Department for Work and Pensions urging the UK government to scrap the “regressive” Tax Credits two child policy and ‘rape clause‘.
The family cap limits tax credits to only two children per family – unless the mother can prove that a third child was conceived as a result of rape or during an abusive relationship.
The letter warns of the “clear equality issues relating to the policy’s effect on women, on religious groups and on young people.”
EHRC Chief Executive Rebecca Hilsenrath accused the government of pushing through the changes without a sufficient impact assessment and warned the policy could be in breach of human rights laws, urging the Government to reconsider the changes.
She said: “The introduction of a two-child limit for Child Tax Credits is likely to impact on the living standards of children in poorer households with more than two children, and therefore may constitute a regressive measure in relation to the implementation of Articles 26 and 27 of CRC.
“Analysis by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) found that this policy change will lower 200,000 children below the official poverty line. CPAG estimates that the biggest group affected will be working families with three children, who will miss out on up to £2,780 per year as a result of the policy change.