Australia: Parents to penalize for not immunizing children
Sept.16, Canberra: The government in Australia is to pass a law that withhold child care and other payments from families that fail to immunize their children.
The Australian government on Wednesday said that, “The "No Jab, No Pay Bill" introduced to Parliament would also remove a category of "conscientious objector" that allowed parents to remain eligible for full government benefits despite not immunizing their children.”
Families would lose up to 15,000 Australian dollars ($11,000) per child per year in tax and child care benefits from Jan. 1, 2016, unless their children are vaccinated. Exemptions would apply only for valid medical reasons.
The legislation is likely to be passed by Parliament without any amendments. Public reaction to the proposed change has been overwhelmingly positive.
The government said that 97 percent of Australian families that claim tax benefits for their offspring are vaccinated, the number of children under 7 years old who are not vaccinated because their parents are objectors has increased by more than 24,000 over the past decade to 39,000, the government said.