GREG'S LEGACY

Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

Work Choices and our grandchildren

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PRIME Minister John Howard says the next election will make or break his controversial Work Choices legislation. I believe his controversial Work Choices legislation will make or break the next election.

If the government loses office, it will be seen that the Work Choices legislation will have been the trigger. The real reason will have been the government’s concentration on a strong economy at the expense of the Australian working population and future generations.

To my mind, the Work Choices legislation was ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ for the credibility of the government. This was legislation that threatened every worker in the nation and every last one of them is a voter. Since the legislation was passed, we have only seen how businesses have compromised their workers without any consequences.

Whilst we may currently have the lowest unemployment levels in history, most workers are now underemployed and on relative lower rates of pay than in the past.

What hope is there for our grandchildren, particularly in rural areas? When they leave school, they can either go to university and go into debt to the government (HECS) to the tune of $200,000 or work on a contract basis at little over the basic wage of $15/hr. If they get other qualifications they may be able to take a 0.6 EFT (6/10 of 38 hours) job.

What hope do they have of ever owning a home and supporting a family when our strong economy has seen housing affordability reach its worst ever levels.

The passion for a strong economy has affected every aspect of their futures from work, through family life to ultimate retirement.

It even stretches to the environment and the world they will inherit. The Prime Minister still maintains that the government will not commit to climate change abatement measures if it will affect the economy.

The world economy is not invincible. Legislation will not stop Climate Change (drought), energy shortages (peak oil), or pandemics such as Bird Flu from bringing it tumbling down.

“This election will be very important in the determining whether the reforms in that area will stay or are permanently consigned to history,” Mr Howard said in Adelaide today.

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Written by Greg Naylor

18 August 2007 at 8:04 pm

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