‘No Jab, No Pay’ – Vaccinating our children
The Government recognises that more needs to be done to ensure we protect our children and our community from preventable diseases.
While Australia has a childhood vaccination rate of over 90 per cent for children aged one to five years, more than 39,000 children aged under seven in Australia are not vaccinated because their parents are vaccine objectors. This is not supported by medical research or public policy.
From 1 January 2016, the ‘No Jab, No Pay’ rule will remove all exemptions, excluding those for medical reasons, for access to child care payments and Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A end of year supplement.
Improving immunisation rates
The Government is also providing a $26 million boost to the Immunise Australia programme which will provide additional incentive payments for doctors and immunisation providers to identify and vaccinate children in their practice who are overdue.
The Government will continue to raise awareness of the benefits of vaccinations and enhance an existing register to ensure all adolescent vaccinations are recorded.
Guaranteeing high quality early learning
Maintaining high quality standards is integral to the delivery of early childhood education.
The Government will extend funding for a further three years to support the National Quality Agenda for Early Childhood Education and Care while working with states and territories to streamline its operation
Simpler and fairer means testing
The Government understands the need for a simpler family payments system and a smooth level of support as children get older. The Government will align the eligibility criteria for FTB Part A and youth income support payments, by removing the Family Assets Test and the Family Actual Means Test from 1 January 2016.
The Government will also apply a single Parental Income Test where a family receives both Youth Allowance and FTB Part A.
These changes will provide additional assistance to working families to support their children in transitioning from school to further study, in particular for children from regional and remote areas, who often face higher costs of further study due to the need to move away from home.