COUPLES who have more than two children should be charged a lifelong tax to offset their extra offspring’s carbon dioxide emissions, a medical expert says.
The report in an Australian medical journal called for parents to be charged $5000 a head for every child after their second, and an annual tax of up to $800.
And couples who were sterilised would be eligible for carbon credits under the controversial proposal.
Perth specialist Professor Barry Walters was heavily critical of the $4000 baby bonus, saying that paying new parents extra for every baby fuelled more children, more emissions and “greenhouse-unfriendly behaviour”.
Instead, it should be replaced with a “baby levy” in the form of a carbon tax in line with the “polluter pays” principle, he wrote in the latest Medical Journal of Australia.
“Every family choosing to have more than a defined number of children should be charged a carbon tax that would fund the planting of enough trees to offset the carbon cost generated by a new human being,” said Prof Walters, an obstetrician at King Edward Memorial Hospital.
Sustainable Population Australia suggested a maximum of two, he said.
By the same reasoning, contraceptives like diaphragms and condoms, as well as sterilisation procedures, should attract carbon credits, the specialist said.