Australia should slap a lifelong baby tax on parents with more than
two children to offset the carbon dioxide emissions produced by their
additional offspring, a medical expert said Monday.
Parents should have to pay a 5 000 Australian dollar (Roughly R30 000) levy for each child after their first two, along with an annual
tax of up to A$800 (about R4 800) to plant enough trees to offset the
emissions generated over each child's lifetime, according to Barry
Walters, an obstetrics professor with the government-funded University
of Western Australia.
Carbon credits for sterilisation
In a letter to the editor of the Medical Journal of
Australia published Monday, Walters also recommended that citizens who
use contraceptives or undergo sterilisation should be entitled to
reduce their annual income tax using carbon credits.
"Greenhouse gases constitute the largest source of pollution, with
by far the greatest contribution from humans in the developed world,"
Walters wrote. "Every newborn baby in Australia represents a potent
source of greenhouse gas emissions for an average of 80 years, not
simply by breathing, but by the profligate consumption of resources
typical of our society."
In a supporting letter, Garry Egger, the director of the New South
Wales state Centre for Health Promotion and Research, said population
control "remains crucial" to preserving the environment and called on
doctors to counsel their patients on the ecological consequences of
their family planning decisions.
Critics, including the Australian Family Association, dismissed the
recommendation, saying that multi-child households use less energy per
person than smaller households.
Far from penalising large families, the government currently awards
a A$4 000 (about R24 000) "baby bonus" to the parents of each child
born in Australia, part of a plan to reverse falling birthrates. – (Sapa-AP)
Enviro health Centre