Essential Report

Federal budget expectations

May 25, 2021

Q. The federal budget will be / was announced on Tuesday 11th In general, do you expect the federal budget will be good or bad for the following?

  After Budget Announced

24 May’21

Before Budget Announced

10 May’21

  TOTAL: Good / Very Good Neither good, nor bad TOTAL: Bad / Very Bad Don’t know TOTAL: Very Good / Good Neither good, nor bad TOTAL:  Bad / Very Bad Don’t know
People who are well-off 51% 29% 8% 12% 53% 28% 8% 12%
Big businesses 49% 32% 7% 13% 51% 30% 9% 11%
Women 40% 33% 15% 11% 34% 36% 18% 12%
Australian families 39% 33% 17% 11% 38% 33% 19% 10%
Small businesses 38% 35% 15% 12% 44% 28% 17% 11%
The economy overall 38% 35% 16% 10% 41% 33% 16% 10%
Younger Australians 33% 34% 21% 12% 31% 35% 23% 12%
Average working people 33% 33% 23% 11% 32% 32% 25% 10%
People on lower incomes 30% 27% 33% 10% 30% 27% 33% 11%
Older Australians 29% 33% 26% 12% 29% 28% 32% 11%
You personally 22% 43% 25% 10% 23% 40% 27% 10%
  • More people now expect the federal budget will be good for women than before the budget was announced; those expecting it will be good / very good for women is now at 40% (from 34%).
  • However, less people now expect it will be good for small businesses compared to before the budget was announced (38% from 44%).
  • Less people now expect the budget will be bad / very bad for older Australians (26% from 32%).
TOTAL:

Good / Very Good

Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
People who are well-off 51% 57% 46% 47% 50% 55% 57% 49% 54% 56%
Big businesses 49% 55% 43% 47% 45% 54% 53% 49% 54% 50%
Women 40% 47% 34% 36% 40% 45% 35% 58% 24% 27%
Australian families 39% 42% 36% 36% 38% 43% 31% 57% 31% 28%
Small businesses 38% 45% 32% 39% 35% 40% 32% 55% 26% 29%
The economy overall 38% 43% 34% 35% 37% 43% 28% 59% 26% 29%
Younger Australians 33% 37% 30% 34% 30% 36% 26% 50% 22% 23%
Average working people 33% 37% 29% 33% 31% 34% 23% 52% 18% 22%
People on lower incomes 30% 34% 26% 33% 27% 29% 18% 48% 20% 24%
Older Australians 29% 34% 24% 35% 30% 22% 21% 43% 22% 23%
You personally 22% 26% 18% 32% 23% 12% 16% 33% 16% 16%
Base (n) 1,100 539 561 341 379 380 369 410 105 112
  • Men are more likely than women to expect the budget will be good / very good for women (47% to 34%). Men are also more likely than women to expect the budget will be good for them personally (26% to 18%).
  • Those over 55 are less likely than younger cohorts to expect the budget will be good for older Australians (22% to 35% of those 18-34 and 30% those 35-54). This reflects how they are also less likely to expect the budget will be good for them personally compared to younger groups (12% to 32% those 18-34 and 23% those 35-54).
  • 33% of Coalition voters expect the budget will be good for them personally. This is higher than Labor, Greens and those voting for minor/independent parties (16% respectively).

Likelihood of federal budget delivering outcomes

May 25, 2021

Q. How likely do you think it will be that the budget will deliver the following outcomes over the next few years?

TOTAL:

Quite likely / Very likely

This budget

May’21

Last budget

Oct’20

Create jobs 52% 53%
Help Australia recover from the economic impacts of Covid-19 55% 56%
Keep debt under control 31% 36%
Create long-term problems that will need to be fixed in the future 55% 58%
Place unnecessary burdens on future generations 58% 62%
Base (n) 1,100 1,082
  • There is no significant difference in people’s views towards the likelihood of the federal budget delivering on the listed outcomes compared to last October.
  TOTAL:

Quite likely / Very likely

TOTAL:

Not very likely / Not at all likely

Very likely Quite likely Not that likely Not very likely Not at all likely
Create jobs 52% 13% 9% 43% 35% 8% 6%
Help Australia recover from the economic impacts of Covid-19 55% 16% 11% 44% 29% 10% 6%
Keep debt under control 31% 34% 6% 25% 36% 21% 12%
Create long-term problems that will need to be fixed in the future 55% 16% 17% 38% 29% 12% 4%
Place unnecessary burdens on future generations 58% 14% 17% 41% 28% 10% 4%
  • Out of the budget outcomes listed, most Australians think it’s likely that the budget will place unnecessary burdens on future generations (58%).
  • While 55% think it’s likely the budget will help Australia recover from the economic impacts of Covid-19, 55% also think it’s likely the budget will create long-term problems that will need to be fixed in the future.
  • The budget is not expected to keep debt under control, with 34% thinking this is not very / not all likely.
TOTAL:

Quite likely / Very likely

Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Create jobs 52% 55% 49% 47% 49% 58% 39% 75% 42% 44%
Help Australia recover from the economic impacts of Covid-19 55% 59% 51% 52% 53% 60% 46% 76% 47% 40%
Keep debt under control 31% 32% 30% 35% 34% 24% 25% 43% 19% 22%
Create long-term problems that will need to be fixed in the future 55% 60% 50% 52% 53% 59% 63% 50% 55% 57%
Place unnecessary burdens on future generations 58% 61% 55% 53% 55% 66% 63% 57% 60% 61%
Base (n) 1,100 539 561 341 379 380 369 410 105 112
  • Coalition voters are more likely to think the budget will deliver on positive outcomes (i.e. create jobs, help Australia recover from Covid-19, and keep debt under control) than Labor, Greens and minor/independent party voters; They are less likely to think the budget will create long-term problems that will need to be fixed in the future (50% to 61% all other voters).
  • However, Coalition voters are just as likely as these other voters to think the budget will place unnecessary burdens on future generations.

Federal budget and post Covid-19 economic recovery

May 25, 2021

Q. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements about the recent federal budget and the direction for the country to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic?

TOTAL:

Agree

This budget

May’21

Last budget

Oct’20

The decisions the government makes now will affect the future health of the economy 75% 75%
The government should take the recognition if their budget measures work, just as they should take responsibility if they do not 73% 70%
The global pandemic means that the health of the economy is out of the government’s control 42% 49%

 

  TOTAL:

Agree

TOTAL:

Disagree

Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree, nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Unsure
The decisions the government makes now will affect the future health of the economy 75% 6% 43% 32% 15% 4% 2% 4%
The government should take the recognition if their budget measures work, just as they should take responsibility if they do not 73% 5% 37% 36% 18% 2% 2% 4%
The global pandemic means that the health of the economy is out of the government’s control 42% 26% 12% 30% 27% 19% 7% 5%
  • There is now less agreement that the global pandemic means that the health of the economy is out of the government’s control compared to last October (42% from 49%).
  • However, there is still high agreement that ‘the decisions the government makes now will affect the future health of the economy’, and ‘the government should take the recognition if their budget measures work, just as they should take responsibility if they do not’ (75% and 73% respectively).

Federal budget: Balance of interests between different groups

May 25, 2021

Q. To the best of your knowledge, did the federal budget put the interests of each of the groups ahead of the other, or was there a balance?

Men and women This budget

May’21

Difference

(% points)

Last budget

Oct’20

This budget puts the interests of men ahead of the interests of women 19% -12% 31%
This budget puts the interests of women ahead of the interests of men 34% 20% 14%
This budget was balanced between women and men 47% -7% 54%
Base (n) 1,100 1,082

 

Young people and older people This budget

May’21

Difference

(% points)

Last budget

Oct’20

This budget puts the interests of young people ahead of the interests of older people 32% -13% 45%
This budget puts the interests of older people ahead of the interests of young people 28% 7% 21%
This budget was balanced between the young and the old 40% 6% 34%
Base (n) 1,100 1,082

 

Employees and businesses This budget

May’21

Difference

(% points)

Last budget

Oct’20

This budget puts the interests of employees ahead of the interests of businesses 13% -1% 14%
This budget puts the interests of businesses ahead of the interests of employees 49% 7% 42%
This budget was balanced between businesses and employees 38% -7% 45%
Base (n) 1,100 1,082
  • Compared to last year, this budget is seen to provide more support for women, with 34% saying it puts the interests of women ahead of men (14% in October), and 47% saying it is balanced between the interests of men and women. As such, fewer people think this year’s budget puts the interests of men ahead of women (19% from 31% in October).
  • This year’s budget was seen to be less friendly to the interests of younger people. Fewer think the budget puts the interests of young people ahead of the interests of older people compared to last year (32% compared to 45% last October). More think this budget puts the interests of older people ahead of the interests of young people (28% from 21%), or that it was balanced between the young and the old (40% from 34%).
  • Around half think this budget puts the interests of businesses ahead of the interests of employees (49%), while a further 38% think it was balanced between business and employee interests. Just 13% think the budget favoured employees’ interests over those of businesses.

Views towards objective of federal budget

May 25, 2021

Q. Do you think the federal budget was MORE about …?

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Helping the Australian economy recover and building it over the long term 55% 56% 54% 64% 55% 46% 41% 74% 44% 44%
Helping the Coalition win the next federal election 45% 44% 46% 36% 45% 54% 59% 26% 56% 56%
Base (n) 1,100 539 561 341 379 380 369 410 105 112
  • 55% think the federal budget was more about helping the Australian economy recover and building it over the long term, while 45% think it was more about helping the Coalition win the next federal election.
  • Those most likely to think the budget was more about helping the government win the next election were those aged over 55 (54%), Labor voters (59%), Greens voters (56%) and minor/independent party voters (56%).

Views towards national deficit and spending

May 25, 2021

Q. Which of the following approaches to debt and spending is closer to your view?

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Australia needs to spend whatever it takes to help the economy recover, and worry about how to repay the debt later 20% 24% 16% 26% 21% 13% 19% 21% 23% 14%
It’s ok for Australia to spend whatever it takes to help the economy recover, but there needs to be a clear plan for how we will repay the debt in the future 65% 63% 66% 61% 63% 70% 66% 67% 64% 62%
Now is the time to start repaying some of the debt 16% 14% 18% 14% 16% 17% 15% 12% 13% 25%
Base (n) 1,100 539 561 341 379 380 369 410 105 112
  • The majority (65%) think it’s ok for Australia to spend whatever it takes to help the economy recover, but there needs to be a clear plan for how we will repay the debt in the future. While accordance with this view is high across all age groups, those over 55 are more likely than younger cohorts to think this (70% to 62% those under 55).
  • 20% think Australia needs to spend whatever it takes to help the economy recover, and worry about how to repay the debt later. Those most likely to follow this view include men (24%), those aged 18-34 (26%), Greens voters (23%).

Confidence in federal government’s long-term plans

May 25, 2021

Q. Please indicate which is closest to your view about the federal government’s plan for each of the following issues:

  I’m confident the federal government has a long-term plan, and it’s clear to me what this plan is I’m confident the federal government has a long-term plan, but it hasn’t been communicated well I’m not confident the federal government has a long-term plan
The Covid-19 vaccine rollout 25% 42% 32%
Establish quarantine facilities 21% 38% 41%
Reduce the national deficit 16% 43% 41%
Reduce Australia’s carbon emissions 18% 35% 47%
Reform and fund the aged care system 22% 39% 39%
Reopen international borders 21% 40% 39%
  • There is uncertainty about the federal government’s long-term plans, or a perception that these plans have not been communicated clearly to the public.
  • 41% aren’t confident there’s a long-term plan for reducing the national deficit; 43% are confident a plan exists but don’t think it’s been communicated well.
  • 41% are also not confident the federal government has a long-term plan to establish quarantine facilities, with 38% confident there is a plan, but it hasn’t been communicated well.
  • Over a third (32%) are not confident the federal government has a long-term plan for the Covid-19 vaccine rollout. 42% are confident they have a long-term plan, but think it hasn’t been communicated well. Only a quarter (25%) are confident there is a long-term plan and are clear on what it is.
  • Nearly half (47%) are not confident the federal government has a long-term plan for reducing Australia’s carbon emissions. Over a third (35%) think there is a plan but it hasn’t been communicated well. Only 18% are confident and clear on this plan.

Views towards early federal election

May 25, 2021

Q. Some have suggested that the Prime Minister might call an early election later in 2021. It is not due until 2022.

Which of the following is closer to your view?

  May’21 Feb’21
 
An early federal election in 2021 will be good for Australia, because a lot has changed since the last election 39% 42%
It would just be opportunism for the Prime Minister to call an early election, and the federal election should stay in 2022 61% 58%
Base (n) 1,100 1,092

 

Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
  Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
An early federal election in 2021 will be good for Australia, because a lot has changed since the last election 39% 39% 39% 47% 39% 31% 41% 37% 36% 43%
It would just be opportunism for the Prime Minister to call an early election, and the federal election should stay in 2022 61% 61% 61% 53% 61% 69% 59% 63% 64% 57%
Base (n) 1,100 539 561 341 379 380 369 410 105 112
  • There is no significant difference in views towards an early federal election compared to when this question was asked in February.
  • Most (61%) still think it would just be opportunism for the Prime Minister to call an early election, and the federal election should stay in 2022. 39% think an early federal election in 2021 will be good for Australia, because a lot has changed since the last election.
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