Tony Abbott announced that Australian parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids won’t get taxpayer-funded childcare or welfare benefits

April 13, 2015 4:22 am

Australian parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids won’t get
taxpayer-funded childcare or welfare benefits under the federal
Government’s “no jab, no pay” policy.
Prime Minister
announced the policy that denies benefits to anyone who does not
immunise their child, unless they are exempted on medical or religious
grounds.

 Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced a policy that denies benefits to anyone who does not immunise their child. Photo / AP

Australian parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids won’t get
taxpayer-funded childcare or welfare benefits under the federal
Government’s “no jab, no pay” policy.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott
announced the policy that denies benefits to anyone who does not
immunise their child, unless they are exempted on medical or religious
grounds.
“This is a very important measure to keep our children and our families as safe as possible,” Abbott said in Sydney yesterday.
A small religious group with a pre-existing objection to vaccination
is the only group exempted from the new “no jab no pay” rule in
.
And the government is keen to keep it that way.
Social Services Minister Scott Morrison won’t name that group, lest it promote a sudden rush in membership.
“There
is only one, it is a very small religion and I am not about to
encourage people to line up with it just to get another crack at an
exemption,” he said on the Nine Network.

Under the plan announced on Sunday, parents who decide against immunisations could be up to $15,000 worse off per child.
They
would lose a childcare benefit of up to $205 a week, the childcare
rebate of up to $7500 a year or the Family Tax Benefit A annual
supplement of up to $726.
Children can still be exempted on medical or religious grounds, but Mr Morrison warns the latter exemption is “very narrow”.
That
contrasts with the US where the constitutional guarantee of freedom of
religion has allowed creation of religions whose tenets specifically
exempt members from state requirements for vaccination of their
children. Membership is available to anyone for a small fee.
Mr Morrison said no mainstream religions had registered vaccination objections with the Australian government.
But the number of conscientious objections has continued to grow, more than doubling in the last decade.
The
government estimates about 39,000 children under seven have not
received immunisation because their parents are vaccine objectors.
Now it’s seeking to close off most vaccination exemptions based on religious grounds.
A
spokesman for Mr Morrison said this religious particular group had a
pre-existing official exemption based on their religious beliefs.
“We
have also said we will keep a close eye on that measure as well in case
it’s abused. We will look to take action on that if necessary,” he
said.

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