How Good was Howard?

Liberty, Productivity and Jobs

THE TITLE for this assessment of the Howard government’s workplace relations record includes a point often neglected about these matters. Labour market regulation basically restricts personal freedom, and provides an institutional framework within which serious infringements of individual liberties—even crimes of violence—are perpetrated. Discussion of the Howard government’s workplace relations record nowadays tends to centre on “WorkChoices”. The Workplace Relations Amendment (Work Choices) Act was enacted in late 2005, after the Senate’s composition changed on July 1, 2005, following the Coalition’s sweeping 2004 election victory. This Act, and its voluminous associated regulations, came into force in April 2006. A well-financed…

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