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Thursday, 13 September 2007
Page: 74

Mr RUDD (2:05 PM) —My question is again to the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime Minister to Labor’s $450 million plan to give all Australian four-year-olds 15 hours of preschool education a week for 40 weeks a year delivered by a qualified teacher. Will the Prime Minister detail his plan for the future of Australian four-year-olds?

Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —I think the first and most important thing that we can do for the four-year-olds of this country is to make sure their parents have a job. That is the most important thing we can do and that is the best policy any government can offer—to ensure that every child in this country grows up in a household where their parents are in work. I am very proud of the fact that the number of jobless households in Australia has declined markedly during the time that this government has been in office and I am distressed at the prospect that, under Labor’s high-unemployment policy, the number of jobless households would rise yet again.