Essential Report

Government vs Private Sector

Jan 31, 2011

Q. Which of the following are better run by the private sector and which are better run by Government?

Better run by private sector Better run by Government Don’t know
Electricity 22% 61% 17%
Water 15% 70% 16%
Trains, buses and ferries 19% 68% 13%
Motorways 17% 70% 13%
Community services such as child protection 14% 71% 15%
Broadband services 53% 29% 19%
Health insurance services 48% 37% 15%
Property insurance 55% 27% 19%
Prisons 10% 76% 15%
Universities 20% 64% 16%

A substantial majority believed that the Government is better at running prisons (76%), community services (71%), water (70%) and motorways (70%). However, they are more likely to think that the private sector is better at running property insurance (55%), broadband services (53%) and health insurance (48%).

Although Liberal/National voters were a little more likely to favour the private sector on most issues, they also supported the Government running most services except for broadband services (63% private/24% Government), health insurance (59%/32%) and property insurance (65%/23%). Labor voters favoured the private sector to run broadband (44%/38%) and property insurance (50%/31%) but were split on health insurance (41% private/43% Government).

Support for Government run services was a little higher in NSW than in Victoria – e.g. electricity (64% NSW/59% Vic), water (73%/65%).


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