The Australian government has announced that it intends to stop welfare payments to parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.
The “no jab, no pay” policy may cost parents more than A$11,000 a year per child in lost benefit payments.
Families with children not immunised have been able to receive childcare cash if they have a philosophical or religious objection to vaccines.
PM Tony Abbott said that the rules would soon be substantially tightened.
He said that there would only be a small number of religious and medical exceptions to the new rules – supported by the Labor opposition and due to come into effect in early 2016.
The prime minister refused to say in detail how much money the initiative would save. (BBC News)
I have some reservations about this policy. I support efforts to improve the vaccination rate in principle, but I wonder what other programs the government might decide to coerce people into via the threat of withholding welfare benefits.
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