In a proposal supported by the incumbent and opposition governments in Australia, parents who opt out of vaccinating their children will no longer receive federal payments for childcare and family tax.
“Parents who vaccinate their children should have confidence that they can take their children to childcare without the fear that their children will be at risk of contracting a serious or potentially life-threatening illness because of the conscientious objections of others,” Mr Abbott said. […]
The change will need to be approved by Parliament.
There is, fortunately, bipartisan agreement with the facts in this issue.
Under the policy which the coalition took to the last election, and which is supported by Labor, “conscientious objection” would no longer be allowed for parents who refuse to vaccinate their children but still want to receive child care payments and family tax benefit supplements.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said it was a sensible step.
“We believe fundamentally in the science of vaccinations and we fundamentally believe that policy should be made by the best evidence and the best science,” he said.
“And we would say to the Liberal Government, we’re pleased that you’re agreeing with our position and yes we will cooperate to make sure that the safety of our children is what is paramount in public policy.”
As skeptics we should highly applaud the proposal. Parents who through ignorance, whether innocent or wilful, endanger the health of their children and those around them, should not receive public child support funding until they acknowledge the scientific facts of how disease works.