Essential Report

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%).

Economy: Direct investment vs trickle-down approach

May 11, 2021

Q. And which of the following is closest to your view on the best way to create jobs and grow the economy?

  May’21 Oct’20
 
The government should directly invest in the economy by creating projects and jobs, and raise the standard of living for the majority of workers 66% 69%
The government should relax regulation and lower taxes for the wealthy to encourage businesses to grow and create jobs 17% 19%
Unsure 17% 13%
Base (n) 1,092 1,066
  • Most Australians’ want the government to directly invest in the economy by creating projects and jobs, and raise the standard of living for the majority of workers (66%), rather than relax regulation and lower taxes for the wealthy to encourage businesses to grow and create jobs (17%) to create jobs and grow the economy. This is consistent with levels last October (69% and 19% respectively).
  • Slightly more people are now unsure which the best approach is (17% from 13% in October).
Total Federal Voting Intention
Labor Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other TOTAL:

Labor, Greens, Other

The government should directly invest in the economy by creating projects and jobs, and raise the standard of living for the majority of workers 66% 74% 64% 75% 69% 73%
The government should relax regulation and lower taxes for the wealthy to encourage businesses to grow and create jobs 17% 13% 23% 15% 17% 14%
Unsure 17% 13% 13% 10% 14% 12%
Base (n) 1,092 371 400 109 111 591
  • The majority of voters of all major parties want the government to directly invest in the economy by creating projects and jobs, and raise the standard of living for the majority of workers.

Indicators of whether the Australian economy is in a good or poor state

May 11, 2021

Q. Which of the following indicators do you think is the most important when thinking about whether the Australian economy is in a good or poor state?

  May’21 Sep’20 Sep’19
The unemployment rate 25% 39% 25%
The cost of household bills 20% 13% 22%
The size of the national deficit 13%
The amount of homeless people on the streets 11% 8% 10%
The value of the Australian dollar to international currencies 8% 12% 13%
The gross domestic product per person 7% 7% 8%
The interest rate set by Reserve Bank of Australia 7% 6% 9%
The consumer price index 5% 6% 6%
The number of new shops, restaurants and cafes opening 5% 3% 2%
The size of the national surplus 6% 6%
Base (n) 1,092 1,081 1,097

 

Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
The unemployment rate 25% 24% 25% 28% 26% 21% 26% 21% 34% 25%
The cost of household bills 20% 19% 21% 18% 20% 21% 21% 19% 18% 18%
The size of the national deficit 13% 10% 15% 8% 13% 17% 10% 15% 7% 17%
The amount of homeless people on the streets 11% 8% 13% 11% 11% 11% 12% 8% 15% 7%
The value of the Australian dollar to international currencies 8% 9% 7% 12% 7% 6% 9% 8% 4% 7%
The gross domestic product per person 7% 9% 6% 7% 7% 8% 6% 10% 7% 6%
The interest rate set by Reserve Bank of Australia 7% 8% 6% 6% 8% 7% 7% 8% 3% 8%
The consumer price index 5% 7% 3% 6% 5% 4% 5% 6% 8% 3%
The number of new shops, restaurants and cafes opening 5% 6% 3% 5% 4% 5% 4% 5% 4% 9%
Base (n) 1,092 536 556 340 372 380 371 400 109 111
  • The unemployment rate is still thought to be the top indicator of the state of the Australian economy, with a quarter of Australians (25%) ranking it as most important.
  • Cost of household bills (20%), the size of the national deficit (13%) and levels of homelessness (11%) are also seen to be key indicators of the state of the economy.

State of the economy

Sep 22, 2020

Q. Overall, how would you describe the current state of the Australian economy?

  Sep’20 Sep’19 May’18 Nov’17 May’17 Dec’16
Very good 8% 5% 8% 3% 3% 2%
Quite good 16% 27% 31% 30% 27% 21%
Neither good, nor poor 30% 32% 32% 38% 36% 37%
Quite poor 32% 25% 18% 17% 23% 28%
Very poor 14% 8% 6% 7% 6% 8%
Unsure 2% 3% 5% 5% 5% 4%
NET: Good 23% 32% 39% 33% 30% 23%
NET: Poor 46% 33% 24% 24% 29% 36%
Base (n) 1,081 1,097 1,033 1,021 1,007 1,001

 

  Total Gender Age
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
Very good 8% 11% 4% 9% 12% 1%
Quite good 16% 18% 13% 21% 16% 11%
Neither good, nor poor 30% 28% 31% 34% 30% 26%
Quite poor 32% 30% 33% 23% 29% 41%
Very poor 14% 12% 16% 9% 12% 20%
Unsure 2% 1% 2% 3% 1% 1%
NET: Good 23% 29% 17% 30% 28% 12%
NET: Poor 46% 42% 49% 33% 41% 61%
Base (n) 1,081 539 542 338 374 369

 

  Total Federal Voting Intention
Labor Coalition Greens Independent / Other
Very good 8% 4% 10% 7% 9%
Quite good 16% 13% 20% 13% 13%
Neither good, nor poor 30% 26% 29% 33% 29%
Quite poor 32% 38% 28% 34% 33%
Very poor 14% 18% 12% 12% 16%
Unsure 2% 1% 1% 2% 0%
NET: Good 23% 17% 30% 19% 22%
NET: Poor 46% 56% 39% 46% 49%
Base (n) 1,081 298 460 115 104
  • Rating of the state of the economy has fallen in the last year in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now 23% of people the state of the economy as very or quite good, down 9%pts from 32% last year. Over the same time those rating the economy as poor (very/quite) has increased from 33% to 46%.
  • Those most pessimistic about the state of the economy include women (17% rating very/quite good, down from 30% last year), people aged over 55 (12%, down from 31% last year) Labor voters (17%) and Greens voters (19%).
  • Rating of the economy among Coalition voters has dropped from 45% very/quite good in Sep’19 to 30% this year.

Indictors of whether the Australian economy is in a good or poor state

Sep 22, 2020

Q. Which of the following indicators do you think is the most important when thinking about whether the Australian economy is in a good or poor state?

  Sep’20 Sep’19
The unemployment rate 39% 25%
The cost of household bills 13% 22%
The value of the Australian dollar to international currencies 12% 13%
The amount of homeless people on the streets 8% 10%
The interest rate set by Reserve Bank of Australia 6% 9%
The gross domestic product per person 7% 8%
The consumer price index 6% 6%
The size of the national surplus 6% 6%
The number of new shops, restaurants and cafes opening 3% 2%
Base (n) 1,081 1,097

 

  Total Gender Age
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
The unemployment rate 39% 34% 44% 38% 42% 38%
The cost of household bills 13% 12% 14% 14% 14% 11%
The value of the Australian dollar to international currencies 12% 13% 10% 19% 9% 8%
The amount of homeless people on the streets 8% 10% 7% 9% 9% 7%
The interest rate set by Reserve Bank of Australia 6% 5% 6% 2% 7% 8%
The gross domestic product per person 7% 9% 5% 4% 6% 10%
The consumer price index 6% 8% 4% 8% 5% 5%
The size of the national surplus 6% 5% 8% 4% 5% 9%
The number of new shops, restaurants and cafes opening 3% 4% 3% 3% 3% 4%
Base (n) 1,081 539 542 338 374 369
  • People rating the unemployment level as the key indicator for a healthy economy has increased in the past 12 months from 25% to 39% while the cost of household bills has fallen from 22% to 13%. All other indicators remain consistent.

Support for extension of JobKeeper and JobSeeker schemes

Jul 28, 2020

Q. On Tuesday July 21st, the government announced that JobKeeper payments and the increase to JobSeeker will be extended to March 2021 but that the rates for each will be reduced in October, and again in January. Eligibility for JobKeeper will remain the same, meaning that casual workers will not receive support.

To what extent do you support or oppose the changes to these schemes?

  TOTAL: Support TOTAL: Oppose Strongly support Somewhat support Neither support nor oppose Somewhat oppose Strongly oppose
Businesses having to be re-tested for JobKeeper to ensure they are still eligible 69% 9% 37% 33% 22% 6% 2%
The continuation of payments to March 2021 66% 12% 31% 35% 22% 8% 5%
The reduction in the amount of payments 54% 21% 22% 33% 25% 12% 9%

 

    Voting intention
NET: Support Total Labor NET: Coalition Greens NET: Other
Businesses having to be re-tested for JobKeeper to ensure they are still eligible 69% 70% 76% 58% 72%
The continuation of payments to March 2021 66% 72% 65% 78% 60%
The reduction in the amount of payments 54% 49% 67% 33% 62%
Base (n) 1,058 334 428 81 107

 

  • Extension of the JobKeeper and JobSeeker schemes receives support from a two-thirds majority (66%). While the reduction of payments is supported by just over half (54%), 21% oppose this decision.

Management of the economy

Oct 7, 2014

Q. How would you rate the government’s management of the Australian economy compared to how governments in other countries around the world have managed their economies? 

 

Total

 

 

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Vote other

 

May 2013

May 2014

Total Good

39%

21%

68%

25%

19%

39%

40%

Total Poor

28%

44%

7%

52%

38%

32%

31%

Very good

11%

5%

22%

4%

2%

11%

9%

Good

28%

16%

46%

21%

17%

28%

31%

Neither good nor poor

28%

31%

24%

18%

34%

24%

24%

Poor

15%

22%

6%

20%

20%

17%

14%

Very poor

13%

22%

1%

32%

18%

15%

17%

Don’t know

5%

3%

1%

4%

9%

5%

5%

39% of Australians would rate the government’s management of the economy, compared to other countries around the world, as good.

28% would rate their management of the economy as poor.

There have been no major shifts in attitudes since this question was asked in May.

Labor (21%), Greens (25%) and other (19%) voters were less likely to rate the government’s management of the economy as ‘good’. Lib/Nat voters (68%) were more likely to rate the government’s management of the economy as ‘good’.

47% of those earning $1,600+ pw rate the government’s management ‘good’ and 35% of those earning less than $1,000 pw rate it ‘poor’.

Foreign investment

Aug 26, 2014

Q. Do you think investment in mining and ports by Chinese companies is good or bad for the Australian economy?

  

Total

 

 

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Vote other

Total good

38%

37%

50%

34%

29%

Total bad

36%

34%

30%

38%

52%

Very good

6%

7%

7%

4%

4%

Good

32%

30%

43%

30%

25%

Bad

22%

24%

18%

24%

28%

Very bad

14%

10%

12%

14%

24%

Don’t know

26%

29%

20%

28%

20%

38% think that investment in mining and ports by Chinese companies is good for the Australian economy and 36% think it is bad.

Liberal/National voters are more likely to think it is good for the economy (50%), while Labor and Greens voters are almost evenly divided on this issue.

Those most likely to think it is good for the economy were men (48%) and full-time workers (46%). Those most likely to think it is bad were aged 55+ (46%).

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