Essential Report

Major Government decisions

Oct 18, 2016

Q. Thinking about some of the major decisions the Federal Government has made over the years, do you think the following decisions have been good for Australia or bad for Australia?

  Total  good Total bad   Very good Good Neither good nor bad Bad Very bad Don’t know   2011 total good 2011 total bad
Introducing the GST 46% 22%   12% 34% 25% 13% 9% 7%   39% 30%
Privatising Qantas 28% 33%   6% 22% 26% 23% 10% 14%   23% 44%
Privatising Telstra 22% 42%   6% 16% 24% 27% 15% 12%   20% 53%
Privatising the Commonwealth Bank 24% 39%   7% 17% 24% 24% 15% 14%   26% 42%
Floating the dollar 33% 12%   11% 22% 28% 8% 4% 27%   46% 11%
Free trade agreements 38% 21%   11% 27% 24% 13% 8% 18%   41% 21%
Compulsory superannuation 71% 8%   36% 35% 14% 5% 3% 7%   79% 7%
Medibank (now Medicare) 63% 10%   31% 32% 19% 7% 3% 9%   76% 6%
Reducing subsidies to car manufacturing 28% 27%   10% 18% 28% 18% 9% 16%  

Only the Government decisions to introduce compulsory superannuation (71%) and Medibank (63%) were considered good for Australia by a majority of respondents – although opinions on floating the dollar (33% good/12% bad), free trade agreements (38%/21%), the GST (46%/22%) and (by only a small margin) reducing subsidies to car manufacturing (28% good/27% poor) were more likely to be positive than negative.

The decisions to privatise three major national enterprises were more likely to be considered bad; 42% think privatising Telstra was bad (22% good), 33% thought privatising Qantas was bad (28% good) and 39% thought privatising the Commonwealth Bank was bad (24% good).

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