FALKIRK EAST’s MSP ANGUS MACDONALD CALLS ON TORY MSPs IN CENTRAL SCOTLAND TO CONDEMN FAMILY CAP AND RAPE CLAUSE
19 April 2017
SNP MSP Angus MacDonald has called on Central Scotland list Tory MSPs Margaret Mitchell and Alison Harris to stop acting as mere mouthpieces for the UK government and oppose the shocking and inhumane two child limit 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 Tories railroaded through these policies without a parliamentary debate or vote – leaving many outstanding questions with regards to womens’ rights, the impact on child poverty, as well as how the hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals will be trained to assess evidence of rape.
Many sexual violence support charities such as Rape Crisis Scotland and Scottish Women’s Aid have said they will refuse to act as third party verifiers for the UK government, not least due to the trauma and stigma that the rape assessment process will cause both survivors and children of rape.
SNP MP Alison Thewliss has led the campaign to scrap the grotesque two child policy and rape clause.
SNP MSP Angus MacDonald (Falkirk East) said:
“The Tory policy that has become known as the rape clause, requiring women to disclose deeply personal information and prove that a third or subsequent child was conceived as a result of rape in order to claim tax credits, is both disgraceful and disgusting.
“Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Tories should be thoroughly ashamed of their party but instead they are defending the indefensible welfare cuts coming from Westminster.
“The two child policy will mean a loss of up to £2,800 every year per child for hardworking families – driving up child poverty after the UK government scrapped their child poverty targets.
“I will continue to fight these heartless policies and I have written to Conservative list MSPs in Central Scotland, Margaret Mitchell and Alison Harris asking them to stand up for the dignity and human rights of Women in Scotland and condemn these utterly appalling Tory Government policies.”
TORIES SET TO RIP-UP CLIMATE COMMITMENTS AS BREXIT GETS DESPERATE
10 April 2017
UK Government negotiators will be told to “scale down” the focus on climate change and illegal wildlife trade, according to a senior civil servant’s notes that were photographed on a train.
The Department for International Trade official’s notes reveal that Tim Hitchens – the director-general of economic and consular affairs at the Foreign Office – will advise a conference later this month that “all posts” should prioritise trade at the expense of climate change and wildlife in negotiations.
Angus MacDonald MSP, member of Holyrood’s Environment Committee, said:
“This revelation is extremely worrying, but unfortunately not surprising given the Tories’ abysmal record on climate change.
“After scrapping the Department of Energy andClimateChange in her first month in office, Theresa May’s government has categorically failed to support a green agenda or show any opposition to the US President’s recent executive order that reverses many of Obama’s policies to reduce carbon emissions.
“The most recent figures show that the SNP is leading the way in the fight against climate change, with Scotland continuing to outperform the UK on emissions reductions. We have already exceeded the 2020 target to reduce emissions by 42%, six years early, and our draft Climate Change Plan sets out how we propose to drive emissions down even further, by 66% in 2032.
“It is vital that we stand up to the UK Government’s indifference to and lack of leadership on important environmental issues. The SNP will continue to stand up for environmental issues and support the EU’s powerful influence in global climate talks, while mitigating, as best we can, the disastrous effects of the Tories’ reckless hard Brexit plans.”