By Anthony Stavrinos


During last year’s election
campaign John Howard made an interesting admission during this
interview
on the Macquarie Regional Radioworks’ nationally syndicated
program, The Benchwarmers, presented by Dan Lyons and Ken Green:

THE BENCHWARMERS: It’s interesting, when you were growing up your dad owned a petrol station.

HOWARD: He owned a petrol service station in an inner suburb of Sydney, Dulwich Hill.

THE BENCHWARMERS: How did you go from pumping gas to being prime minister of the country?

HOWARD:
[laughs] Well I learnt one thing when I served petrol for dad and that
is that the customer is always right. That is the first thing he taught
me at the age of 14 when I first started serving petrol and I was paid
below the Award rate, I should say.

THE BENCHWARMERS: Ohhhh…

HOWARD:
Yeah, I was exploited. It was dreadful. And he (dad) said that the
customer was always right and I sort of remembered that. So I do listen
to what people say and perhaps that was a lesson I learnt that stood me
in good stead later on in life.

BENCHWARMERS: What, to continue being exploited? [laughter in studio]

The
PM last offered detailed suggestions on youth wages when he was
industrial relations spokesman for the John Hewson-led opposition
during 1992’s launch of Fightback.

According to The Daily Telegraph,
he called for a cut to the minimum wages at the time for the age group
15 to 19 from an average of $8.50 an hour to between $3 and $3.50 an
hour.