The Howard Government's Disabling Policies

Tomlinson, John R. (2005) The Howard Government's Disabling Policies. In Social Change in the 21st Century, 28 October 2005, QUT Carseldine, Brisbane.


Since 1996, the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has twice condemned Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers and Aborigines. In 1998, the Coalition Government stopped paying benefits to unemployed 16-18 year olds adversely affecting 46,000 people (Horin 1998). Recipients of unemployment benefit were the first to feel the sting of the Howard Government’s increased breaching and mutual obligation regime which has subsequently been extended to single parents and Disability Support Pensioners. The Government has waged a relentless campaign to curb the power of the Federal Arbitration Commission and the union movement. It is moving to weaken further the bargaining power of workers. Private insurance has been promoted over public programs: the undermining of Medicare and bulk billing are two obvious examples. The Government has used the threat of terrorism to take away civil liberties and as an excuse to invade other countries. The purpose of this paper is simply to describe several of the social policy changes installed by the Howard Government so as to provide a basis for understanding how such changes have cumulatively eroded Australians’ sense of solidarity. It does not attempt to locate such insights within a reified conceptual paradigm; rather it is content to describe how such policies have impacted adversely upon long established social, economic and political conceptions of citizenship. It will outline preferable social policies and suggest ways in which these alternative policies might be achieved.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

938 since deposited on 03 Feb 2006
22 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 3435
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Howard Government, social policy changes, Australian solidarity
ISBN: 1741071089
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Social Change (160805)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLITICAL SCIENCE (160600) > Australian Government and Politics (160601)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 John R. Tomlinson
Deposited On: 03 Feb 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:30

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page