The Turnbull Government believes there is no excuse for parents who, without a valid medical reason, choose not to immunise their children.
These parents are not only putting their own children's health at risk, but the health of every other person’s children at risk too.
That is why the Government will strengthen its No Jab, No Pay policy to provide an immediate incentive for parents to meet immunisation requirements for their children.
This builds on our present No Jab, No Pay policy, and our current and ongoing work with the States to implement a No Jab, No Play policy through the COAG process.
From 1 July 2018, the fortnightly Family Tax Benefit Part A payment would be reduced by $28 per fortnight for each child who does not meet the immunisation requirements.
This change will ensure parents understand how important the Government views immunisation and protecting community health.
Reducing fortnightly payments, rather than withholding the supplement at the end of the year as occurs at present, will serve as yet another constant reminder for parents to have their children’s immunisation requirements are up to date.
Since the No Jab, No Pay policy started in January last year, more than 210,000 families have taken action to ensure that they now meet the immunisation requirements.
As a result of the Government’s No Jab No Pay policy, national immunisation rates have increased across all three target groups of one, two and five year olds.
This means children and the wider community are being protected from preventable diseases like whooping cough.
From December 2015 to March 2017, the immunisation rate for one year olds increased 1.35 percentage points to 93.63 per cent; the coverage rate for two year olds rose 1.75 percentage points to 90.06 per cent; and, the rate for five year olds increased 0.73 percentage points to 93.32 per cent.
Indigenous immunisation rates have also increased across all relevant age cohorts.
Under the No Jab, No Pay policy, children must be fully immunised, have a valid exemption or be on a valid catch-up schedule if parents are to continue receiving child care payments, and with the new No Jab, No Pay measure, their full Family Tax Benefit Part A fortnightly payment.
Figures on No Jab No Pay
- As at 31 March 2017 parents of 2,605,962 children with a No Jab, No Pay immunisation requirement have had their Family Tax Benefit entitlements finalised for the 2015–16 financial year.
- The full Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement entitlement has been paid for 2,471,590 children who met immunisation requirements (94.8%).
- 134,372 Family Tax Benefit Part A children missed out on part, or all, of the supplement because they did not meet the full year No Jab, No Pay immunisation requirements (5.2%). Parents of these children would miss out on the full rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A under these changes.