Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will announce that those who do not vaccinate their children will not get the Family Tax Benefit A end-of-year supplement.The religious exemption really needs to go as well. One group's nonsensical, unscientific objection to an important public health measure should not be given greater respect than the other. Medical grounds should be the only grounds accepted for an exemption. High vaccination rates not only protect the vaccinated, herd immunity also confers protection to those who genuinely cannot be vaccinated.
The payment is worth $726 per child, per year and is paid when children are vaccinated at one, two and five years of age.
Since last year, parents who have not immunised their children have not received the benefit; however, those registering as so-called conscientious objectors have.
Under Labor's policy, exemptions would only be made on religious or medical grounds.
Of course it's unlikely that Rudd will be our Prime Minister come the election, but the Courier Mail reports that Abbot has signalled his support for the conscientious objector exemption to be removed:
Mr Abbott said the Coalition supported "in principle ... the idea of all reasonable measures to ensure that vaccination rates are high".