Essential Report

Support for Commission of Audit Policies

May 13, 2014

Q. Do you support or oppose the following possible policies that could be announced in the budget, as set out in the recently released ‘Commission of Audit’ report:

 

Total Support

Total Oppose

Strongly support

Support

Neither support nor oppose

Oppose

Strongly oppose

Don’t know

Privatise Australia Post

18%

54%

6%

12%

18%

23%

31%

9%

Privatise Snowy Hydro

16%

39%

5%

11%

23%

19%

20%

21%

Introduce co-payments for all Medicare services: $15 per service for general patients and $5 per service for concession holders with payments reduced after 15 visits

25%

55%

7%

18%

14%

19%

36%

6%

Partial or full deregulation of university fees

17%

43%

5%

12%

24%

20%

23%

17%

Increase interest rates on student (HELP) debt

13%

63%

5%

8%

17%

33%

30%

7%

University graduates to repay HELP debt once they earn the minimum wage ($32,354).

50%

24%

15%

35%

17%

13%

11%

9%

Include the value of family home in an assets test for new pensioners, but with a high threshold

22%

50%

7%

15%

16%

21%

29%

11%

Scrap the national minimum wage in favour of a new Minimum Wage benchmark of 44 per cent of Average Weekly Earnings.

18%

35%

5%

13%

25%

17%

18%

22%

Single people aged 22-30 without dependents must relocate to high employment areas or lose access to unemployment benefits after 12 months

44%

31%

18%

26%

19%

15%

16%

7%

Privatise the Royal Australian Mint

15%

49%

5%

10%

20%

24%

25%

16%

Raise pension age to 70 by 2053

18%

62%

5%

13%

15%

24%

38%

5%

Make those under 25 apply for Youth Allowance, instead of Newstart (Youth Allowance is around $100 less per fortnight)

39%

31%

13%

26%

19%

18%

13%

11%

More people opposed than supported each of the policies listed, except for:

  • University graduates to repay HELP debt once they earn the minimum wage ($32,354) (50% support, 24% oppose)
  • Single people aged 22-30 without dependents must relocate to high employment areas or lose access to unemployment benefits after 12 months (44% support, 31% oppose)
  • Make those under 25 apply for Youth Allowance, instead of Newstart (Youth Allowance is around $100 less per fortnight) (39% support, 31% oppose)

The highest levels of opposition were registered for:

  • Increase interest rates on student (HELP) debt (62% oppose)
  • Raise pension age to 70 by 2053 (62% oppose)
  • Introduce co-payments for all Medicare services: $15 per service for general patients and $5 per service for concession holders with payments reduced after 15 visits (55% oppose)
  • Privatise Australia Post (54% oppose)

Overall, Lib/Nat voters were more likely than the other voting groups to support each of the policies. The only areas (in addition to those listed above) where they were more likely to support than oppose were ‘Introduce co-payments for all Medicare services: $15 per service for general patients and $5 per service for concession holders with payments reduced after 15 visits’ (43% support and 35% oppose) and ‘Partial or full deregulation of university fees’ (28% support, 26% oppose).

The areas of highest opposition for Lib/Nat voters were:

  1. Raise pension age to 70 by 2053 (51% oppose)
  2. Include the value of family home in an assets test for new pensioners, but with a high threshold (50% oppose)
  3. Increase interest rates on student (HELP) debt (50% oppose)

Key differences by gender included:

  • Females (60%) were more likely than males (49%) to oppose the co-payment for Medicare services
  • Females (66%) were more likely than males (59%) to oppose the increase of interest rates on HELP debts

Females (67%) were more likely than males (56%) to oppose the raising of the pension age to 70 by 2053

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