Media Release by Senator the Hon Anne Ruston

No Jab, No Pay boosting child immunisation rates

Almost 500 Australian children are being immunised each day under the Morrison Government’s strengthened No Jab, No Pay requirements.

In 2018-19 the Government notified the families of about 350,000 children that they did not meet the immunisation requirements for Family Tax Benefit Part A and were at risk of having their fortnightly payment reduced by up to $29 a fortnight.

The notifications led to almost 174,000 children being fully immunised by June 28, 2019.

Families and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said No Jab, No Pay had been extremely successful in boosting immunisation rates since it was introduced in 2016.

“The Morrison Government is committed to doing everything we can to ensure that as many children as possible are being fully immunised,” Minister Ruston said.

“We want parents to have confidence their children can attend child care or school without fearing they will be at risk of contracting a serious or potentially life-threatening illness.

“These results show that the Government’s decision to tighten the rules around the ‘No Jab, No Pay’ initiative from July 1, 2018, created a more immediate link between the immunisation schedule and payment reductions.

“It has acted as a powerful driver for families to make sure their children’s vaccinations are fully up to date.”

The changes mean fortnightly Family Tax Benefit Part A payments are reduced by around $29 a fortnight for every child that does not meet the immunisation requirements.

Families who do not meet the immunisation requirements for their child are notified and placed on a 63 day grace period. If they fail to immunise their child within the grace period their FTB payments are reduced.

The stricter rules replaced the earlier system under which end-of-year supplements were withheld for children whose immunisation was not up to date.