PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 21111

Work and Family Policy

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 16/02/2004

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 21111

In recent days, the Opposition has claimed that the Government failed to act on advice that Australia's system of family and child care benefits requires an urgent overhaul.

I reject completely the claim that the Government has received advice to this effect.

To the contrary, the general thrust of the advice received from the Work and Family Task Force was:

* Enhancements since 1996 to the tax system, financial assistance to families, workplace relations, child care and other services have improved the framework within which Australian can make choices about balancing work and family life.

* Modelling carried out on the impact of current tax arrangements and financial assistance for families shows that these arrangements are generally adequate in supporting ongoing choices by parents to stay at home or participate in the paid workforce and, overall, do not favour dual-income or single-income families.

At the Government's request, options for further enhancements were referred to the Task Force review.

The tenor of this advice was reflected in my presentation at last year's Convention of the Liberal Party in Adelaide. This presentation was made available widely at the time.

In preparing the 2003-04 Budget, after providing for a necessary additional investment in national security and defence, it was decided that priority should be given to across-the-board tax relief.

Transcript 21111