François Legault announced yesterday that unvaccinated people will be fined a significant amount on their taxes this year. While fines are an interesting way of encouraging people to get vaccinated, they should be proportional to people's income rather than a fixed, non-variable amount for everyone.
For example, fines for curfew violations amount to around $1,500. For someone earning minimum wage, this represents 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 just such a reason.
Fines should be proportional to income. This should apply to any form of financial disincentive to vaccinate. Applying a universal amount, as Mr. Legault has suggested, is a policy that will favor the rich and plunge many low-income people into desperate situations.
Alex Tyrrell
Leader of the Green Party of Quebec

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