Ruth Davidson says 'rape clause' could be reviewed

Posted On: 
10th May 2017

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has said the so-called 'rape clause' could be reviewed.

Ruth Davidson has come under fire for defending the so-called 'rape clause'.
Credit: 
The House

The controversial policy bans child tax credits for a third child unless the mother can prove it was conceived following a sex attack.

Ms Davidson has come under fire from both the SNP and Labour at the Scottish Parliament for defending the move, which was introduced as part of reforms to the welfare system.

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But in an interview with Emma Barnett on Radio 5Live, the Tory bigwig said the policy could be changed if it is found not to be working.

She said: "I think that it's right that child tax credits are limited to the first two children. I also think that it's right that if you are going to have that limit, that you have exceptions in exceptional cases, including the very worst cases like the one that you are referring to.

"In terms of how that works on the ground, if there are issues with that, then I am completely open - if there are better ways of doing it - to reviewing that."

Ms Davidson insisted the policy "already works elsewhere and had broad support elsewhere," but added: "If there is an issue – and we don’t know yet, because it’s only just coming in – if there’s an issue with how that’s done, then let’s review that."

Elsewhere in the interview, the MSP also said she would like to see Scotland take in more immigrants who arrive in the UK.

She said: "I think the big question in Scotland is why, when we have got a third of the land mass of the UK, we’ve got 8.4% of the population of the UK, why we only attract 4% of migrants to the UK to come and live and work in Scotland?

"In terms of the proportion, I think that we should absolutely be attracting more than 4% of the people who come to the UK. We should be attracting more of them to Scotland."