Striking a rare yet decisive blow for common sense, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has today announced that parents who refuse to vaccinate their children will be denied government-funded childcare rebates and welfare.

Per News Limited, this announcement means that, from January 1 2016, “conscientious objection” will be removed as an exemption category for the childcare benefits and the Family Tax Benefit.

“As a father, I want parents to have the confidence they can take their children to childcare without the fear their children will be at risk of contracting a serious or potentially life-threatening illness because of the conscientious ­objections of others,” Abbott said.

These tough new rules will affect the Childcare Benefit, which is worth $200 a week, the Childcare Rebate, worth $7500 a year, and the annual $726 supplement under Family Tax Benefit Part A. 

“Existing exemptions on medical or religious grounds will continue,” he said, “however a religious objection will only be available where the person is affiliated with a religious group where the governing body has a formally registered objection approved.”

If “religious objection” looks like a loophole to you, then you may indeed be on to something. Per Fairfax reports, there are already pseudo-religious groups that exist in order for parents to try and claim this exemption.

Conscientious objection forms, however, must be signed off by doctors or immunisation providers before being sent to the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register, and many will simply refuse to sign them.

The font of all wisdom that is Jimmy Kimmel sent the following message to the anti-vaccine movement several weeks ago:

 

Anti-vaxxers take note – if even Tony Abbott thinks you’re a fuckhead, it might be time to start reconsidering some of your life choices.

Photo: Dave Rowland via Getty Images