Saturday, August 17, 2013

Rudd measure links jabs to tax benefits - Sky News Australia

Parents who register as 'conscientious objectors' to prevent their children being vaccinated will miss out on a family tax benefit supplement of more than $2000 if the Rudd government is re-elected.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will on Sunday announce the lifting of the existing exemption for such parents in a bid to lift childhood immunisation rates, News Corp Australia reports.

Under the proposal their children will have to be fully immunised in order to receive the Family Tax Benefit Part A end-of-year supplement.

The supplement is worth $726 per child each year. It is only paid once a child is fully immunised at one, two and five years of age.

The government argues this provides families with an incentive of more than $2100 to ensure their children are fully immunised.

Under the latest Rudd proposal, exemptions will apply on medical and religious grounds only.

The existence of unimmunised children has given rise to concerns that children in some communities are at risk of contracting diseases such as measles and whooping cough.

'The science cannot be disputed,' News Corp reported Mr Rudd as saying.

'Immunisation is the safest and most effective way for parents to protect their children from disease, and one of the most important public health measures at our disposal.'
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