The Federal Opposition has called for the government to offer cash incentives for people to get a COVID vaccine.
Labor wants Australians who are fully vaccinated by December 1 to receive $300.
The plan would cost the budget up to $6 billion if the whole population gets jabbed, or just under $5 billion if we reach a vaccination rate of 80 per cent.
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Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese admits it is not cheap but pales in comparison to the economic hit the country is currently facing.
“That’s a small amount compared with the $2 billion a week that these mass lockdowns are costing our national economy,” Mr Albanese told Nine.
“This is something we need to do, we need to get our vaccination rates up, we are running last in the developed world.
“So this would be good for our health but also would provide a much-needed stimulus at a time when workers and small businesses are really struggling to get by as a result of these lockdowns.”
But the government has been quick to reject the idea, describing it as an insult to those who have already had their jab.
“If you look at the response of Australians, who have historically embraced vaccinations, and we have every confidence that Australians understand the benefits of this to themselves and their loved ones is sufficient to go out and get vaccinated this time as well,” Finance Minister Simon Birmingham told NIne.
“The government has looked at questions around incentives, we’ve sought evidence from behavioural economic experts within government and they don’t believe that this is the type of pathway to go down.
“It just looks like the same tired old Labor which is just to throw money at a problem rather than to actually work through the hard evidence and the difficult decisions.”
According to the Australian, the research commissioned by the government found that financial incentives would have little to no impact on long term vaccination rates and they could set an “expensive precedent for future vaccine strategies”.