A Labour Party shadow minister has said it would be a “great idea” to pay young people to be vaccinated against the Chinese coronavirus.
Luke Pollard, the Opposition minister for the environment, was asked on Sky News on Wednesday whether over-18s should be paid to be vaccinated.
“Well, if it helps with the increase of rollout of the vaccine for young people, that’s a great idea,” Mr Pollard said, in comments reported by Yahoo News UK.
Boris Johnson’s Conservative government did not appear to dismiss the notion, with Universities Minister Michelle Donelan saying the administration will “keep everything on the table” in terms of incentivising vaccination.
Greece has already begun to pay 18- to 25-year-olds to be vaccinated, offering them €150 (£128/$178) “Freedom Pass” vouchers, which can be spent on travel, accommodation, or entertainment such as concerts or museums. More recently, Greece is considering suspending or cutting the salaries of school teachers and university instructors who refuse to be vaccinated or regularly tested.
Pollard’s suggestion would perhaps make a change from the threats that the prime minister had made to the younger generations in recent weeks.
On so-called Freedom Day, July 19th, when the majority of lockdown restrictions were theoretically lifted, Johnson announced for the first time proof of vaccination would be the requirement to enter a venue in the United Kingdom, in this instance nightclubs — a direct targetting of young Britons.
Days After ‘Absolutely’ Opposing Vaccine Passports, Labour Could Back Measures https://t.co/7ORTdKhk9z
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 26, 2021
The war on the youth continued in the following weeks, with the prime minister suggesting that “travel” and “massive events” (such as festivals) could be next to require proof of double vaccination.
Reports that the government was considering domestic vaccine passports for university were later denied following opposition from university and student leaders, with a Department for Education spokesman saying last week: “The government currently has no plans to require the use of the NHS Covid pass for access to learning.”
Much depends on Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and Tory rebels voting to stop the introduction of domestic vaccine passports if it comes before the House of Commons.
However, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and other Labour MPs have given mixed messages on where the left-wing party stands on the issue, with Starmer suggesting that he would consider not only vaccine passports for entry to large venues, but in addition demand testing.
On Wednesday, the government authorised the use of vaccinations for 16- and 17-year-olds, with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) confirming that over-16s do not need parental consent to be inoculated against the Chinese virus.
UK Govt Prepares to Vaccinate 16 and 17-Year-Olds Without Need for Parental Consent https://t.co/GYvyiMAx4T
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 5, 2021