Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Rethink on Plan for Child Benefit Link to MMR Jab

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Rethink on Plan for Child Benefit Link to MMR Jab

Article excerpt

Byline: Joseph Watts Political Correspondent

LABOUR today squashed reports it wanted to strip child benefit from parents whose children have not been given the MMR jab.

Under a proposal considered by the party, those who do not allow their children to receive the vaccine would lose the payment.

But after the plan was reported this morning, party spinners rushed to deny it would be included in Labour's election manifesto.

They admitted that policy chief Jon Cruddas had looked at the idea and did not deny that he had championed it, but insisted that it would not be taken forward.

A Labour source said: "It's not going to be considered in the party's policy review, let alone make it through. There's no way it'll be in a manifesto."

NHS figures show that in 2011/12 there were 18,060 two-year-olds in London who had not been given the first dose of the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella. The 86 per cent take-up rate in the capital was below the national average, blamed on safety fears. …

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