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‘Cut benefits if parents fail to immunise child suggests Dagenham and Rainham MP’

PUBLISHED: 12:11 23 September 2013 | UPDATED: 12:50 23 September 2013

Jon Cruddas

Jon Cruddas

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas suggested parents should lose their child benefit if they refuse to immunise their children with the MMR jab, according to reports.

Families would have to prove their child’s vaccination records are up to date before they receive any funds, Mr Cruddas, who is leading’s Labour’s policy review, apparently said.

But today he told us: “I simply said it was interesting idea the Labour party in Australia introduced. It is not part of our policy review.”

Following Mr Cruddas’ original comments his party quickly distanced themselves from the measure.

Speaking on ITV’s Daybreak, shadow chancellor Ed Balls said: “There is no question of a Labour government ever taking child benefit away or punishing parents for choices they make on vaccinations.

“I don’t know where that came from. It is not our policy. It is on the front of the newspapers but it is not true.

“We would never say child benefit is conditional on taking a jab.”

Mr Cruddas’s apparent suggestion comes after the uptake of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine dropped to dangerously low levels in some areas.

Earlier this year more than 1,000 people caught measles in Swansea and one man, aged 25, died.

Do you think parents should lose their child benefits if they refuse to immunise their children? Let us know by commenting below, emailing postnewsdesk@archant.co,uk or calling the news desk on 020 8477 3893.

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