Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has proposed an initiative that would stop parents who did not vaccinate their children from receiving childcare benefits. This could be up to $15, 000 per child.
Under current plans parents can claim benefits if their children are not immunised for personal or religious reasons.
When explaining the measure to reporters the Prime Minister had this to say,
“This is essentially a ‘no jab, no pay’ policy from this Government,” he said.
In a joint statement with the Social Services Minister Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister also said that few exceptions would be made to the new measure – with parents seeking religious exemption requiring registration with a church.
“That’s the only basis upon which you can have a religious exception, and there are no mainstream religions that have such objections registered so this would apply to a very, very small proportion of people,” said Morrison.
“It’d be lucky to be in the thousands, if that.”
“The choice made by families not to immunise their children is not supported by public policy or medical research, nor should such action be supported by taxpayers in the form of childcare payments,” Mr Abbott added in a joint statement with Mr Morrison.
According to ABC News, over 90 per cent of Australian children are vaccinated between the ages of one – five. However there are 39, 000 children under seven who are not vaccinated – an increase of more tan 24, 000 children in the past decade.