Achievements of the Howard Government (1996 – )

Tuesday, 01 August 2006

The Howard Government inherited an economy suffering from high government debt, a Budget in deficit, high unemployment, and one where inflation and interest rates had risen to unacceptable levels.

Initiatives of the period:

Responsible Economic Management

  • Over 800,000 new jobs created since March 1996;

  • Unemployment has fallen to a ten year low of 6.3 per cent;

  • Home loan interest rates down from 17 per cent in the late 1980s to around 8 per cent today;

  • By June next year $50 billion out of a $96 billion Government debt will have been repaid – the debt interest bill has been reduced by $3 billion;

  • The new tax system delivered the largest income tax cut in Australia’s history so that 4 in every 5 taxpayers pay a top tax rate of 30 cents in the dollar or less; and

  • An extra $2.4 billion in family benefits and child care assistance.

Work for the Dole

  • 2,000 Work for the Dole projects have begun providing places for over 70,000 young Australians.

Cracking Down on Welfare Cheats

  • Tightening welfare and targeting welfare cheats is saving decent taxpayers over $2 million a day.

Tough on Drugs

  • The $500 million Tough on Drugs Programme is the largest single initiative ever undertaken in this country to tackle the drug problem.

Fairer Workplaces

  • The Government has seen the lowest level of strikes since 1913; and

  • Compulsory unionism outlawed.

Education and Training

  • The National Literacy Plan to improve basic skills for children to read, write, add and subtract; and

  • New apprenticeships at an all time high with 268,000 young Australians in training.

Better Health Care

  • Parents rewarded for taking personal responsibility for their family’s health care with the 30 per cent private health insurance rebate; and

  • To cut waiting lists and to improve public hospitals State health funding has been increased by 25 per cent in 5 years.

Country Australia

  • Up to 500 rural transaction centres to restore country services including banking;

  • Rural health package to open regional health centres and encourage doctors back to regional areas;

  • Diesel costs down 24 cents a litre for heavy road transport in regional Australia; and

  • Black spots programme to improve country roads.

Older Australians

  • Pensions up 4 per cent and guaranteed to stay above the cost of living;

  • Gold Card extended to Australian World War II veterans 70 years or over with qualifying service; and

  • Provisional tax abolished and capital gains tax relief provided.