Skip To Content

    "No Jab, No Pay" Reforms Will Strip Anti-Vaccination Parents Of Welfare

    Parents who don't vaccinate their kids could lose up to $15,000 in payments.

    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced reforms to tighten immunisation requirements, potentially denying parents who don't vaccinate their children of up to $15,000 in government payments.

    Joe Raedle / Getty Images

    Parents must already immunise their children in order to access the Child Care Benefit, Child Care Rebate and Family Tax Benefit A payment.

    However, they are currently able to opt out of vaccinations by signing a form stating they are a "conscientious objector". The proposed reforms – which enjoy bipartisan support – would close this option from January 1, 2016.

    Medical reasons for vaccination exemptions would continue to be accepted under the reforms, while religious exemptions would be tightened. Only parents affiliated with religious groups which have had an objection formally approved by the government will be eligible.

    Mr Abbott described the reforms as a "no jab, no pay policy" in a Sunday morning press conference, while Social Services Minister Scott Morrison said no mainstream religious organisations have a formal objection to immunisations.

    Abbott Govt gets tough on anti-vaxxers. #auspol

    Some have questioned the efficacy of the reforms, pointing out that many Australians who are anti-vaccinations hail from wealthier suburbs and do not rely on government benefits.

    How will no jab, no pay work when vaccination rates are lowest in wealthy suburbs where welfare payments wouldn't matter?

    Anecdotally at least I've found anti vaccination parents have lots of money and have little reliance on govt. #auspol

    @Qldaah @ABCNews24 I believe in vaccination for sure but this targets people on welfare, rich parents can still make a choice, seems wrong.

    The Child Care Benefit and Family Tax Benefit A are means tested, however, the Child Care Rebate is not.

    A petition in opposition to the reforms had over 3,000 signatures at 1pm on Sunday.

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form