Government unveils eight-page 'rape assessment form' for mothers hit by tax credit cuts

Form NCC1 4/17 will assess whether a third child is conceived as a result of rape

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Women who have a child conceived due to rape will have to fill in an eight-page form to prevent the Government from withdrawing their tax credits.

Ministers want to cut tax credit payments to families with more than two children but previously said children conceived as a result of rape or an otherwise coercive relationship will be exempt from the cap.  

The policy means civil servants will effectively have to assess whether a woman has been raped when she makes a tax credit claim.

The Government unveiled its new document to achieve this aim, entitled “Support for a child conceived without your consent, including rape or while you were in a coercive or controlling relationship form” on Thursday. 

The form, also known to HMRC officials as form NCC1 4/17, requires signed testimony from a third party professional and spells out HMRC’s definition of what an abusive and coercive relationship is. It is available both online and in print.

The form is for England, Scotland and Wales claimants; a separate form is expected to be drawn up for Northern Ireland claimants. It will have to be filled in by a rape victim in addition to the usual tax credit application form.

The so-called “Rape Clause” became law without a parliamentary vote in March of this year. It officially comes into effect today.

The form comes in both paper and online forms (HMRC)

SNP MP Alison Thewliss, who has been campaigning against the policy, said it was “one of the most appalling , disgraceful and demeaning policies ever to emanate from Whitehall”.

She will be leading a protest against the two-child policy in Westminster later today.

The two-child tax credit policy was originally unveiled by the Chancellor George Osborne in his 2015 budget.

A Government spokesman said: “It’s absolutely right that we have the right exemptions in place and we have thought carefully about how we will work with charities and health and social care professionals to support victims of rape.”