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Transcript of weekly radio message: 30 July 2007



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PRIME MINISTER

***embargoed until 3.00am 30 July 2007***

30 July 2007

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER THE HON JOHN HOWARD MP WEEKLY RADIO MESSAGE

Our job in Government is all about making the best country in the world even better.

It requires tough decisions to be made and plans for the future to be laid out.

Summits and stunts are no substitute for real policy alternatives.

The Labor Party expresses concern about housing affordability but offers no policies to make houses cheaper.

The Opposition Leader talks frequently about the prices of grocery items but has admitted he doesn’t have any special plans that would reduce costs for consumers.

The irony is that the policies Mr Rudd does have would make things worse for families - and it’s not just the Government that’s saying that.

Respected economic forecaster Econtech says the Government’s changes to industrial relations laws have reduced residential housing construction costs by three per cent. This equates to almost $10,000 on the cost of a $300,000 family home.

Mr Rudd wants to change these laws and neuter the powers of the building industry watchdog, the Australian Building and Construction Commission. It’s clear that Labor’s policy would increase the cost of building a home and lower housing

affordability.

In the same vein, Mr Rudd’s plan to return to a centralised wage fixing system would not help consumers. A report released by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia says the flexible workplace laws we now have are providing a greater take-home pay packet for Australian workers.

Similarly, unemployment stands at a 33-year low but Mr Rudd wants to turn back the clock and re-introduce the unfair dismissal laws even though small business thrives under the present system and wants to keep it.

It’s hard for the Labor Party to argue the fact that if fewer people are in work, more families won’t find it harder to pay for their weekly shopping bills.

Australians will face a critical choice at the federal election later this year between a Government with a proven track record and an inexperienced, union-controlled Labor Party.

My Government is determined to lock in our current economic strength, keep unemployment low, maintain wages growth and share the bounty of our current good fortune with as many in the community as possible.

[ends]