Australia Country to cut benefits of parents who don't vaccinate their children

The new "no jab, no pay" policy however allows for exemption for medical or religious reasons. Parents can also choose to opt out by stating they are "conscientious objectors".

  • Published:
play (Esb Trib)
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If you're in Australia and haven't vaccinated your child, then you could be on the wrong side of the law as the Australian government has introduced a new policy which would see parents lose as much as $11,000 of welfare benefits a year for refusing to vaccinate their children.

In a joint statement with Social Services Minister, Scott Morrison, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said:

"The choice made by families not to immunize their children is not supported by public policy or medical research nor should such action be supported by taxpayers in the form of child care payments"

The new "no jab, no pay" policy however allows for exemption for medical or religious reasons. Parents can also choose to opt out by stating they are "conscientious objectors" and still receive taxpayer funded child care benefits.

Not withstanding, Abbot said existing exemptions on medical or religious grounds will continue, but guidelines on religious exemptions will be tightened.

According to him, it would require the formal position of that religious body being advised to the government and approved by the government. While Morrison added that no mainstream religious organizations had made any formal objection to immunizations.

An estimated over 39,000 children under the age of 7 have not been vaccinated because of their parents' objections.

This is even as the government reports that the number of children in Australia who have not received immunization against measles and other diseases has almost doubled in the past decade.

Although the theory has been widely discredited, some parents believe the shots cause autism.

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