Rape clause protester says Royal pregnancy proof two-child tax cap unjust
Green Party MLA Clare Bailey has said the Duchess of Cambridge's pregnancy with her third child highlights the unfairness of the two-child cap for tax credits.
Ms Bailey was speaking as a protest took place in Belfast city centre yesterday against the British Government's plan to restrict child tax credits and universal credit to a parent's first two children.
Money will be paid for subsequent children only if their mother proves they were conceived through rape or during an abusive relationship.
Ms Bailey said: "I wish the royal couple the very best. Something they will worry little about is financial security.
"Luckily for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, there is no planned reform on public funding for a third royal child. This sets them apart from thousands of UK parents expecting a third child and denied tax credits for that child."
Ms Bailey explained that child tax credit was worth up to £2,780 a child per year for low income families.
"Many parents will struggle with this benefit cut for a third child," she said.
"In fact, as many parents have struggled to pay for school uniforms, the royal couple have sent their eldest child to a £6,000 a term preparatory school. Taxpayers will pick up this bill. I don't begrudge Prince George and his family a happy, healthy life. My point is that economic inequality has mushroomed and protections afforded to the most vulnerable in our society eroded."
Protesters gathered outside the offices of the Department for Communities, which is responsible for implementing the policy here.
Campaigner Louise Kennedy said: "Requiring women to prove that they conceived a child through rape to access child tax credits is cruel and inhumane."