Social media posts claim that Australian Government is freezing the bank accounts of people who are unvaccinated against COVID-19. We fact checked and found that the claim is false.
“Australia PM of Victoria is free/zing people’s bank accts who haven’t had the V, they can’t buy or sell until forced into submission,” reads the social media post. The post can be seen here.
Has the Australian Govt. passed directive to freeze bank accounts of unvaccinated people?
No. There is no Govt. notification to instruct bank account freezing for unvaccinated people. The same has been confirmed by the Australian PM’s office to USA Today via an email. “The Australian government is not freezing the bank accounts of people who do not get vaccinated against coronavirus,” said the statement.
However, Australian news websites have quoted officials who mentioned that “garnishing bank accounts or wages, registering charges over property, or suspending driver’s licences” are options considered for collection unpaid fines from various offenders related to COVID-19. Reportedly, Queensland’s State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER) has 3046 unpaid fines from 2755 individuals and businesses accused of breaching public health rules during the coronavirus pandemic. The amount is a around a massive $5.2 million.
What is garnishing of bank account? Is it legal?
Garnishing of bank account is a legal procedure where the person to whom money is owed issues a notice to the defaulters bank or employer. In such cases, bank accounts or wages are frozen to recover the unpaid dues.
However, in this case, garnishing is considered as an option to recover unpaid fines and not to penalise unvaccinated people.
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