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was a radical economic policy package, 650 pages long, proposed by then Liberal Party
The Liberal Party of Australia is an Australian political party.Founded a year after the 1943 federal election to replace the United Australia Party, the centre-right Liberal Party typically competes with the centre-left Australian Labor Party for political office...
leader John Hewson
John Robert Hewson AM is an Australian economist, company director and a former politician. He was federal leader of the Liberal Party of Australia from 1990 to 1994 and led the party to defeat at the 1993 federal election.-Early life:...
The key elements of Fightback! were:
- Radical changes to industrial relations, including the abolition of awards and the elimination of automatic entitlements to unemployment benefits after nine months on the dole;
- Radical changes to Medicare
Medicare is Australia's publicly funded universal health care system, operated by the government authority Medicare Australia. Medicare is intended to provide affordable treatment by doctors and in public hospitals for all resident citizens and permanent residents except for those on Norfolk Island...
, including "abolition of bulk-billing except for veterans, war widows, pensioners, health card holders and the disabled" and "provision of gap insurance for medical bills".
- The introduction of a goods and services tax
The GST is a broad sales tax of 10% on most goods and services transactions in Australia. It is a value added tax, not a sales tax, in that it is refunded to all parties in the chain of production other than the final consumer....
(GST) at a 15% rate;
- A $13 billion personal income tax cut, directed largely at the middle and upper-middle income earners;
- A $10 billion cut in government expenditure partially offset by increasing other areas, including $3.6 billion in selected government programs on social welfare;
- The abolition of State payroll taxes and substantial cuts in petrol excise duty and proposed schemes for savings;
- The sale of a number of government-owned businesses.
After a negative reception to the Fightback policies, Dr Hewson reconsidered Fightback! and relaunched it in December 1992. The major changes were to remove the goods and services tax on food and child care through zero rating and provision for a Rebuild Australia fund for new public works. Changes to Medicare, the $10 billion cut in government expenditure and Jobsback package of labour market reforms remained unchanged.
Following the Liberal Party's loss at the 1993 federal election, in April 1994 Dr Hewson declared the Fightback! policy to be 'Dead and Buried'.
Some of the proposals were adopted in some form over the period of the Keating and Howard
John Winston Howard AC, SSI, was the 25th Prime Minister of Australia, from 11 March 1996 to 3 December 2007. He was the second-longest serving Australian Prime Minister after Sir Robert Menzies....
Governments most prominently the introduction of the GST by the latter government.
- John Harrison, The GST Debate - A Chronology, Australian Parliamentary Library, Economics, Commerce and Industrial Relations Group, Background Paper 1 1997-98, 22 September 1997.
- John Quiggin, Fightback and One Nation: A comparative analysis, Australian Tax Forum 9(2), 12754, 1992.
- John Quiggin, Fightback without the Food Tax, Australian Financial Review, 12 December, 1992.
- Peter Boyle, Hewson is a health hazard, Green Left Weekly, 24 February 1993
- Steve Painter, What the Liberals would do to our lives, Green Left Weekly, 3 March 1993.