‘We urge the government to reconsider’: our statement on two child tax credit limit
Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:
“The two child limit on tax credit is implemented today. The position of Women’s Aid has consistently been, and remains, that we urge the government to reconsider this policy. This is because of its damaging impact on both women and children, particularly those who are living with domestic abuse, or its severe and long-lasting effects. However, given that an exemption has been agreed for women who have been in a coercive and controlling relationship – the vast majority of survivors of domestic abuse – Women’s Aid has a responsibility to ensure that survivors of domestic abuse can take advantage of this exemption, should they wish to.
“This is why we are working with government to ensure that specialist domestic abuse services are able to provide evidence, in the least intrusive way possible, to enable women to claim the exemption. We understand that some members of our Federation will not wish to do this, and this of course is a matter for their own trustees.
“In the meantime, we will continue to ask the government to remove the requirement that a woman no longer be living with the perpetrator of abuse in order to be exempt from the removal of Child Tax Credit – particularly given that putting pressure on women to leave can have extremely dangerous consequences. As the Femicide Census has shown, women are at greatest risk of being killed in the first year after separation, and pregnancy also poses a significant risk.
“Even more importantly, we will continue to ask the government to restore Child Tax Credit to mothers, irrespective of the number of children they have. Financial insecurity in itself is a huge barrier to leaving an abusive partner. This policy can only exacerbate this.”