Crossbench senator David Leyonhjelm has thrown his support behind the Government’s “no jab, no pay” legislation, arguing babies should be vaccinated so they do not cause other people to fall ill.
The Liberal Democrat, whose party stands for civil liberties and individual freedom, has told the Upper House he backs laws that restrict welfare payments to parents who do not vaccinate their children.
“Parents do not have a right to welfare payments,” he said.
“It’s bad enough that people continue to bring wave upon wave [of] these little blighters into the world.
“The least they can do is immunise their bundles of dribble and sputum, so they don’t make the rest of us sick.”
The laws, which withhold family payments worth up to $15,000 per year from parents who fail to have their children vaccinated, was passed by Parliament on Monday.
Only families who are unable to vaccinate their children for medical reasons will be exempt.
More than 90 per cent of children aged under five have been vaccinated in Australia, however more than 39,000 children under seven have not been immunised because their parents hold objections.
Announcing the laws in April, then-prime minister Tony Abbott said the laws were designed to encourage more families to get their children vaccinated.
“It’s a very important measure to keep our children and our families as safe as possible,” Mr Abbott said.
“The choice made by families not to immunise their children is not supported by public policy or medical research, nor should such action be supported by taxpayers in the form of childcare payments.”
The laws passed the Senate to become law with the support of the Coalition, Labor and the Greens.