Federal budget expectations

Oct 6, 2020

Q. The Federal Budget will be announced on Tuesday 6th October.

In general, do you expect the Federal Budget will be good or bad for the following?

  Oct’20 Mar’19
  NET: Very Good / Good Neither good, nor bad NET: Very bad / Bad Don’t know NET: Very Good / Good Neither good, nor bad NET: Very bad / Bad Don’t know
Big business 53% 26% 12% 9%
People who are well off 51% 30% 10% 8% 58% 23% 9% 10%
Small business 44% 26% 23% 7%
The economy overall 34% 27% 32% 7% 35% 33% 24% 9%
Australian families 33% 31% 29% 7% 27% 32% 33% 9%
Older Australians 31% 28% 34% 7% 25% 28% 38% 9%
Average working people 30% 29% 34% 6% 31% 30% 30% 9%
People on lower incomes 30% 23% 40% 6% 26% 32% 31% 10%
Younger Australians 29% 31% 33% 8% 24% 25% 42% 10%
You personally 25% 36% 31% 8% 19% 37% 34% 9%
  • Budget expectations are in line with March 2019, showing people are not expecting drastically different announcements this week.
  • Over half of people think big business (53%), and those who are well-off (51%) to benefit from the budget, while the losers are expected to be those on a lower income (40% expect these to have a bad/very bad budget), older Australians (34%) and younger Australians (33%).
  • More people expect the budget announcement to be bad for them than good. A quarter of people think the budget will benefit them personally (25% think the budget will be good/very good), which is less than those expecting it to be bad/very bad for them (31%).

By voting preference

NET:

Very good / Good

Total Vote Labor Vote Liberal / National Vote Greens NET: Vote Other
Big business 53% 62% 47% 68% 58%
People who are well off 51% 62% 41% 67% 56%
Small business 44% 41% 55% 36% 33%
The economy overall 34% 31% 43% 31% 26%
Australian families 33% 30% 43% 28% 23%
Older Australians 31% 27% 39% 34% 23%
Average working people 30% 25% 43% 19% 23%
People on lower incomes 30% 27% 40% 24% 17%
Younger Australians 29% 25% 37% 24% 27%
You personally 25% 22% 32% 27% 18%
  • Labor and Greens voters are more likely than Coalition voters to expect a favourable budget for Big businesses (62% and 68% of Labor and Greens voters respectively, to 47% of Coalition) and for those well-off (62% and 67% to 41%.
  • For all other groups, Coalition voters are more likely to expect a good budget than Labor or Greens.
  • 32% of Coalition voters think they will have a good budget. This was higher than Labor (22%), Greens (27%) or those voting for another independent/minor party (18%).

Economy: Revert to old ways vs opportunity for change

Oct 6, 2020

Q. Which of the following options is closest to your view on the best way for Australia to recover economically following the Covid-19 pandemic?

  Total Gender Age Group
  Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
Now is not the time to experiment with new ideas, we should return to the way the economy was being run 22% 23% 22% 30% 23% 15%
The pandemic has exposed flaws in the economy and there is an opportunity to explore new ways to run the economy 78% 77% 78% 70% 77% 85%
Base (n) 1,066 531 535 340 341 385

 

  Total Federal Voting Intention
  Labor Liberal + National Greens TOTAL: Other
Now is not the time to experiment with new ideas, we should return to the way the economy was being run 22% 21% 24% 23% 22%
The pandemic has exposed flaws in the economy and there is an opportunity to explore new ways to run the economy 78% 79% 76% 77% 78%
Base (n) 1,066 332 433 91 111
  • Over three-quarters of people believe that the pandemic has exposed flaws in the economy and there is an opportunity to explore new ways to run the economy (78%) with the remaining 22% thinking that now is not the time to experiment with new ideas, we should return to the way the economy was being run.
  • Preference for exploring new ideas was selected by the majority within gender (77% of men, 78% of women), ages (70% of 18-34 year olds, 77% of 35-54 year olds and 85% of those aged over 55), and voting intention.

Economy: Direct investment vs trickle-down approach

Oct 6, 2020

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

  Total Gender Age Group
  Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
The government should directly invest in the economy by creating projects and jobs, and raise the standard of living for the majority of workers 69% 67% 70% 57% 66% 81%
The government should relax regulation and lower taxes for the wealthy to encourage businesses to grow and create jobs 19% 23% 14% 28% 20% 10%
Unsure 13% 9% 16% 15% 14% 9%
Base (n) 1,066 531 535 340 341 385

 

  Total Federal Voting Intention
  Labor Liberal + National Greens TOTAL: 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 69% 72% 66% 77% 75%
The government should relax regulation and lower taxes for the wealthy to encourage businesses to grow and create jobs 19% 17% 22% 19% 17%
Unsure 13% 11% 12% 5% 8%
Base (n) 1,066 332 433 91 111
  • There is a majority preference for the government to directly invest in creating jobs and growing the economy.
  • 69% opted for direct investment, while 19% preferred deregulation and lower taxes. 13% were unsure between the two options.
  • There was no difference in the support for direct investment between men and women (67% to 70%), but men were more likely to select deregulation (23% to 14%).
  • There were no differences in preference between voters of Coalition or Labor, with the majority of each all favouring direct investment (72% of Labor voters, 66% of Coalition voters).

Reflection of JobKeeper surplus

Jun 2, 2020

Q. Last Friday the Federal Government announced that, due to an accounting error, the number of people on JobKeeper is around half what the Treasury estimated it to be. The current cost of JobKeeper has consequently been reduced from $130b to $70b.

How do you think this reflects on the government’s credibility?

    Federal Voting Intention
Total Labor Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Very poorly 18% 30% 6% 24% 22%
Quite poorly 23% 28% 16% 37% 27%
Quite well 11% 12% 14% 8% 5%
Very well 5% 4% 5% 0% 10%
Does not affect the Government’s credibility 43% 26% 59% 31% 37%
TOTAL: Poorly 41% 58% 21% 61% 49%
TOTAL: Well 16% 16% 19% 8% 15%
Base (n) 1,059 299 413 95 136
  •  43% of the public do not think the error causing the re-estimation of the JobKeeper cost affects the Government’s credibility, 41% think it reflects Very or Quite poorly.
  • Most Coalition voters do not think the issue has affected the credibility of the Government (59%), while the majority of Labor (58%) and Greens (61%) voters think it reflects poorly.

Alternative spending options for JobKeeper surplus

Jun 2, 2020

Q. On which of the following would you prefer the Government use the $60B it has previously allocated to the JobKeeper program?

    Federal Voting Intention
Total Labor Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Extend financial schemes supporting those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic (JobSeeker increases, JobKeeper and free early  learning childcare) beyond their current end dates 35% 40% 28% 48% 29%
Broaden JobKeeper scheme to include universities, migrant workers and employees of companies owned by foreign governments 20% 23% 15% 25% 24%
Put money towards reducing national debt accumulate during the Covid-19 pandemic 45% 37% 57% 27% 47%
Base (n) 1,059 299 413 95 136
  •  A third of people would prefer the JobKeeper budget to be spent on extending the scheme beyond its current end date, with a further 20% preferring the scheme to be broadened to include more workers. 45% want the money to be put towards reducing the national debt.
  • Younger people (aged 18-34) are more likely to want the money extending (42%) or broadening the scheme (29%) compared to those over 55 (25% and 16%).
  • Over half of Coalition voters (57%) and retired people (58%) prefer using the money to reduce National debt, rather than providing more support for those who have lost work due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Returning to budget surplus

Feb 11, 2020

Q. Before the 2019 Federal election, the Government promised the 2019-2020 budget would return to surplus. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements about achieving a budget surplus?

  NET: Agree NET: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Unsure
It’s more important to spend money on bushfire recovery than fund the surplus 79% 11% 50% 30% 7% 5% 9%
It’s understandable with the coronavirus impacting trade with China that the surplus won’t be achieved 65% 18% 25% 40% 12% 6% 17%
The government was wrong to announce the budget ‘was back in the black’ before the last election 57% 24% 25% 32% 17% 7% 19%
  • Four in five (79%) agree that it’s more important to spend money on bushfire recovery than fund the surplus; 65% agree that it’s understandable with the coronavirus impacting trade on China that the surplus won’t be achieved; and over half (57%) agree that the government was wrong to announce the budget ‘was back in the black’ before the last election.
  • Coalition voters are least likely to agree that the government was wrong to announce the budget ‘was back in the black’ before the last election (44%); while Labor (70%) and Greens (68%) voters are most likely to agree.

Budget compared to last year’s

May 19, 2015

Q. Do you think this budget is better or worse than last year’s budget?

  Total

 

  Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other
Total better 45% 39% 65% 28% 43%
Total worse 15% 21% 6% 33% 20%
Much better 11% 7% 23% 1% 4%
A little better 34% 32% 42% 27% 39%
About the same 31% 35% 25% 31% 30%
A little worse 10% 12% 5% 21% 14%
Much worse 5% 9% 1% 12% 6%
Don’t know 9% 5% 4% 7% 7%

45% think this year’s budget is better than last year’s and 15% think it is worse. 31% think it is about the same.

Those most likely to think it is better were Liberal/National voters (65%) and respondents aged 55+ (63%).

Impact of Federal Budget

May 19, 2015

Q. In general, do you think the Federal Budget, announced on Tuesday 12th May 2015 will be good or bad for?

  Total good Total bad

 

  Very good Good Neither good nor bad Bad Very bad Don’t know   2014 good 2014 bad
You personally 15% 28% 3% 12% 48% 19% 9% 9% 13% 52%
Average working people 22% 27% 3% 19% 41% 20% 7% 11% 14% 59%
Australian business 36% 23%
Small businesses 66% 6% 22% 44% 18% 4% 2% 11%
Big businesses 34% 10% 12% 22% 42% 8% 2% 16%
The economy over all 30% 22% 5% 25% 37% 16% 6% 11% 40% 32%
People who are well off 36% 14% 13% 23% 39% 12% 2% 11% 45% 16%
People on lower incomes 22% 34% 3% 19% 33% 21% 13% 11% 11% 66%
Australian families 29% 27% 5% 24% 34% 19% 8% 11% 11% 62%
Older Australians 20% 34% 3% 17% 35% 23% 11% 11% 10% 66%
Younger Australians 21% 29% 3% 18% 37% 20% 9% 13% 16% 55%

Two thirds (66%) of respondents think the budget will be good for small businesses.

Respondents also thought the budget was more likely to be good for big businesses (34% good/10% bad), the economy overall (30%/22%) and people who are well off (36%/14%).

Compared to last year’s budget, this year’s budget was considered better (or less bad) for all groups except the economy overall where good has dropped from 40% to 30% – and bad has dropped similarly, from 32% to 22%. For all groups, those who say the budget will be neither good nor bad has increased.

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