Trust Most to Handle Economy

May 14, 2012

Q. Who would you trust most to handle Australia’s economy – the Treasurer Wayne Swan or the Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey?

 

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Wayne Swan

34%

77%

6%

51%

Joe Hockey

33%

5%

65%

6%

Don’t know

33%

18%

29%

43%

34% would trust Wayne Swan most to handle the economy and 33% would trust Joe Hockey most. 33% could not give an opinion.

Those aged under 35 trust Wayne Swan more (32%/21%) and those aged 55+ trust Joe Hockey more (47%/31%).

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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%).

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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.

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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.

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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%).

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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.

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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.

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Interest in Federal Budget

May 16, 2011

Q. Thinking about the Federal Budget – how much attention did you pay to the Federal Budget?

2009 2010 2011
Total a lot/some 66% 53% 52%
Total a little/none 31% 44% 45%
A lot 29% 18% 19%
Some 37% 35% 33%
A little 25% 29% 31%
None 6% 15% 14%
Can’t say 3% 3% 2%

Just over half (52%) of respondents said they paid a lot or some attention to the Federal Budget. This is much the same as the corresponding figure of 53% for last year’s budget.

Those most interested were Liberal/National voters (64%) and people aged 55+ (63%). Only 42% of respondents aged 18-34 paid a lot or some attention to the budget.

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