John Howard was the 25th Prime Minister of Australia, serving from 1996 to 2007. During his tenure, Mr. Howard implemented several policies that were met with criticism and controversy.
The Goods & Services Tax (GST)
One of Mr. Howard's most significant policies was the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2000. The GST was a broad-based tax on goods and services, which replaced several existing taxes and was designed to be revenue-neutral. The introduction of the GST was met with criticism from many Australians who felt that it would disproportionately affect low-income earners and that the tax was regressive. Critics argued that the GST would lead to an increase in the cost of living and would be particularly harmful to those on low incomes.
The National Firearms Agreement
Another controversial policy implemented by Mr. Howard was the National Firearms Agreement, which was introduced in response to the Port Arthur massacre in 1996. The agreement introduced stricter gun laws, including a ban on semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, and a mandatory buyback of banned firearms. The policy was met with strong opposition from gun owners and some politicians, who argued that the policy would infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens and that it would not effectively reduce gun violence.
Immigration & Asylum Seekers
Mr. Howard's policies on asylum seekers and immigration were also met with criticism. In 2001, Mr. Howard introduced the Pacific Solution, which involved detaining asylum seekers on offshore islands while their claims were processed. The policy was criticised by human rights groups and was later discontinued by the Labor government in 2008