Tuesday, October 05, 2004

PM defends deal with Family First

The Age via Completely Biased

Prime Minister John Howard today defended the coalition's preference deal with the Family First Party.

In a deal negotiated by Mr Howard, the socially conservative Family First, which has close links to the Assemblies of God church, will preference the coalition in 109 House of Representatives seats.

Mr Howard said he had agreed with a Family First request to introduce family impact statements in cabinet submissions.

"I had some discussions and I indicated a willingness to, for example, have something that we effectively have now and that is a family impact statement in each cabinet submission," he told the Nine network.

But Mr Howard said he had not agreed to change the government's policies on issues such as stem cell research and abortion.

"I indicated that on issues of substance, abortion and so forth, the position stated on behalf of the government would remain," he said.

Mr Howard said he would rather give preferences to Family First than to the Australian Greens.

"I would rather give my preferences to a party like that than I would to the Greens who are in favour of abolishing the private health insurance rebate, are in favour of massive tax increases, have a very permissive attitude towards drug use, are inherently hostile towards the American alliance," he said.

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