François Legault announced yesterday that people who have not been vaccinated will be fined a significant amount on their taxes this year. While fines are an interesting way to encourage people to get vaccinated, these fines should be proportional to people’s income rather than a fixed, non-variable amount for everyone.

For example, fines for curfew violations are about $1,500. For someone earning minimum wage, that’s two-thirds of their monthly pre-tax income. For the wealthy, this amount is quite negligible. As a result, wealthy people can take the risk of violating the curfew with virtually no consequences, whereas a minimum wage worker could lose his or her apartment for doing so.

Fines should be proportional to income. This should apply to any form of financial disincentive for vaccination. Applying a universal amount, as Mr. Legault has suggested, is a policy that will favour the rich and leave many low-income people in desperate straits.

Alex Tyrrell

Leader of the Green Party of Quebec

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