Essential Report

Impact of Budget

May 14, 2012

Q. Do you think the Federal Budget was good or bad for you personally?

Q. Do you think the Federal Budget was good or bad for average working people?

Q. Do you think the Federal Budget was good or bad for Australian businesses?

Q. Do you think the Federal Budget was good or bad for the Australian economy overall?

 

You personally

Working people

Australian businesses

Economy overall

 

2010

2011

2012

2012

2010

2011

2012

2010

2011

2012

Total good

22%

11%

17%

31%

27%

20%

10%

36%

27%

26%

Total bad

26%

29%

26%

24%

32%

25%

43%

28%

29%

32%

Very good

3%

2%

2%

4%

3%

3%

1%

6%

4%

4%

Good

19%

9%

15%

27%

24%

17%

9%

30%

23%

22%

Neither good nor bad

33%

44%

44%

33%

9%

31%

29%

10%

25%

25%

Bad

18%

21%

17%

19%

22%

19%

28%

18%

21%

21%

Very bad

8%

8%

9%

5%

10%

6%

15%

10%

8%

11%

Don’t know

20%

16%

12%

12%

31%

23%

18%

26%

20%

17%

In terms of the economy overall there was a similar response to the 2012 budget compared to last year’s. 26% (down 1%) thought the economy was good for the economy and 32% (up 3%) thought it was bad.

44% of respondents thought the Federal budget was neither good nor bad for them personally – 17% (up 6%) said it was good and 26% (down 3%) bad. 28% of respondents aged 35-44 thought it was good for them while 38% of those aged 55+ thought it was bad.

31% thought it was good for working people and 24% thought it was bad. 35% of part-time workers thought it was good for working people.

43% (up 18%) thought the budget was bad for business, 10% (down 10%) good and 29% said it was neither.

Comments »

Approval of Budget Items

May 14, 2012

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the following parts of the Federal budget?

 

Total approve

Total disapprove

Strongly approve

Approve

Disapprove

Strongly disapprove

Don’t know

Reduced spending on defence

48%

43%

14%

34%

28%

15%

10%

Increased spending on dental health

87%

8%

30%

57%

7%

1%

6%

Bonus payments to low-income families with children at school

60%

33%

16%

44%

20%

13%

7%

Returning the budget to surplus

61%

26%

15%

46%

19%

7%

14%

Tightening eligibility for parenting payments for single mothers

65%

25%

26%

39%

17%

8%

10%

Increasing tax on super contributions for people on high incomes

60%

31%

28%

32%

20%

11%

9%

Respondents were divided on reduced defence spending – 48% approved and 43% disapproved. Support for reduced defence spending was highest among those aged 18-34 (57%).

On all other items measured there was quite strong approval – in particular on increased spending on dental health (87%). Other items received at least 60% support – including 61% approval of returning the budget to surplus. 71% of Labor voters and 58% of Liberal/National voters approved the return to surplus.

Increasing tax on super contributions for people on high incomes was approved by 52% of those on incomes of $1,600+ pw and disapproved by 40%.

Comments »

Reason for Budget Deficit

Apr 10, 2012

Q. The Federal Government is currently running a budget deficit, but intends to return to surplus with the budget for 2012-13 to be announced next month. Which of the following do you think has been most responsible for the deficit over the last few years?

 

Total 11/4/11

Total 10/4/12

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Poor economic management by the Government

23%

28%

7%

48%

7%

Big companies not paying their fair share of taxes

17%

16%

28%

5%

28%

Lower tax revenues because of the Global Financial Crisis

13%

16%

27%

10%

22%

Spending on big projects like the National Broadband Network

14%

15%

14%

17%

10%

The cost of the Government’s GFC stimulus packages

19%

12%

11%

13%

15%

Don’t know

15%

14%

13%

8%

18%

Overall, respondents believe the main reasons for the budget deficit are poor economic management by the Government (28%), big companies not paying their fair share of taxes (16%) and lower tax revenues because of the Global Financial Crisis (16%).

Since this question was asked 12 months ago, those blaming the Government for poor economic management has increased from 23% to 28% and those blaming the cost of the Government’s GFC stimulus packages has declined from 19% to 12%.

Labor voters were most likely to blame big companies not paying their fair share of taxes (28%) and lower tax revenues because of the GFC (27%) while Liberal/National voters blame poor economic management by the Government (48%). Greens voters tended to blame big companies not paying their fair share of taxes (28%).

Comments »

Return to Surplus

Apr 10, 2012

Q. Do you think it is more important for the Government to return the budget to surplus by 2012/13 as planned – which may mean cutting services and raising taxes – OR should they delay the return to surplus and maintain services and invest in infrastructure?

 

Total 4/4/11

 

Total 28/11/11

Total 10/4/12

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Return to surplus by 2012/13, cut services, raise taxes

14%

13%

12%

13%

13%

7%

Delay return to surplus, maintain services, invest in infrastructure

69%

71%

73%

73%

76%

81%

Don’t know

17%

15%

15%

13%

12%

12%

 

12% support the return to surplus by 2012/13 if it means cutting services and raising taxes and 73% think the Government should delay the return to surplus and maintain services and investment. Support for a return to surplus has not significantly changed since this question was asked in November last year.

Comments »

Measures to Return to Surplus

Apr 10, 2012

Q. In order to meet their commitment to return to surplus in 2012-13, which measures should the Government take?

Total

11/4/11

Total 10/4/12

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Increase taxes for big corporations

63%

67%

81%

55%

80%

Reduce tax breaks for high income earners

51%

57%

65%

52%

71%

Postpone major infrastructure projects like the NBN

na

41%

29%

58%

19%

Reduce defence spending

32%

38%

42%

30%

64%

Cut “middle class welfare” such as the Baby Bonus, first home buyers grant and Family Tax Benefit payments

36%

36%

37%

38%

36%

Cut spending on unemployment and disability benefits

21%

23%

18%

32%

12%

It does not need to return to surplus so quickly

38%

63%

67%

66%

58%

Overall, the most favoured means of returning the budget to surplus were increasing taxes for big corporations (67%) and reducing tax breaks for high-income earners (57%). Both these measures were strongly favoured by Labor and Greens voters.

Although support was less strong, these two measures were also two of the three the most preferred among Liberal/National voters – 58% think the Government should postpone major infrastructure projects like the NBN.

The main changes since this question was asked 12 months ago are increases in support for reducing tax breaks for high-income earners (up 6%) and reducing defence spending (up 6%).

Note, although 63% thought that the budget does not need to return to surplus so quickly, some of these respondents also agreed with some of the measures listed.

Comments »

Education Funding or Budget Surplus

Feb 27, 2012

Q. The Gonski report also recommends a $5 billion increase in education funding with $1.5 billion of this additional funding coming from the Federal Government and the rest from the State Governments. If the Federal Government provides this additional funding it may mean they will not be able to return the budget to surplus next year.

Do you think it is more important to provide this additional funding for schools or more important to return a budget surplus?

 

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

More important to provide additional funding to schools

61%

63%

58%

83%

More important to return a budget surplus

24%

25%

29%

11%

Don’t know

15%

12%

12%

6%

61% think it is more important to provide additional funding to schools and 24% say it is more important to return a budget surplus.

Those who think it is more important to provide additional funding were women (65%), aged 45+ (67%), and Greens voters (83%).

Comments »

Return to Surplus

Nov 28, 2011

Q. Do you think it is more important for the Government to return the budget to surplus by 2012/13 as planned – which may mean cutting services and raising taxes – OR should they delay the return to surplus and maintain services and invest in infrastructure?

April 4 Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Return to surplus by 2012/13, cut services, raise taxes 14% 13% 13% 19% 7%
Delay return to surplus, maintain services, invest in infrastructure 69% 71% 76% 68% 82%
Don’t know 17% 15% 11% 13% 11%

13% support the return to surplus by 2012/13 if it means cutting services and raising taxes and 69% think the Government should delay the return to surplus and maintain services and investment. Opinions are unchanged since this question was asked in April.

No more than 19% of any demographic or voter group supported the return to surplus by 2012/13.

Comments »

Measures Government should take to Return to Surplus

Nov 28, 2011

Q. In order to meet their commitment to return to surplus in 2012-13, which measures should the Government take?

April 4 Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Increase taxes for big corporations 63% 72% 81% 65% 86%
Reduce tax breaks for high income earners 51% 59% 63% 57% 64%
Reduce defence spending 32% 37% 32% 37% 67%
Cut “middle class welfare” such as the Baby Bonus, first home buyers grant and Family Tax Benefit payments 36% 35% 31% 40% 29%
Cut spending on unemployment and disability benefits 21% 21% 15% 28% 13%
It does not need to return to surplus so quickly 38% 58% 65% 56% 61%

The most favoured measures for returning the budget to surplus were increasing taxes for big corporations (72%) and reducing tax breaks for high-income earners (59%).

Labor voters were more likely to support increasing taxes for big corporations (81%).

Liberal/National voters were more likely to support cutting spending on unemployment and welfare benefits (28%), and cutting “middle class welfare” (40%).

Since this question was last asked in April, support has increased for increasing taxes for big corporations (+9%) and reducing tax breaks for high income earners (+8%).

However, the major change since April has been a substantial increase in support for the position that the Government does not need to return to surplus so quickly – up 20% to 58%. This position is supported by 65% of Labor voters and 56% of Liberal/National voters.

Comments »

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