Support for Carbon Tax if Compensated

Mar 29, 2011

Q. If the Government compensated households by cutting income tax and increasing welfare payments, would you be more likely or less likely to support the proposed carbon tax?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Men Women Age

18-34

Aged

35-54

Aged 55+
Total more likely 38% 58% 26% 49% 37% 40% 43% 38% 34%
Total less likely 16% 10% 23% 14% 20% 12% 16% 16% 15%
Much more likely 14% 26% 7% 20% 15% 14% 16% 15% 12%
Somewhat more likely 24% 32% 19% 29% 22% 25% 27% 23% 22%
Somewhat less likely 5% 6% 6% 4% 7% 3% 6% 6% 4%
Much less likely 11% 4% 17% 10% 13% 8% 10% 10% 11%
Makes no difference 35% 24% 46% 26% 35% 35% 26% 36% 46%
Don’t know 11% 8% 5% 11% 8% 13% 15% 10% 6%

38% of respondents agreed they would be more likely to support the proposed carbon tax if the Government compensated households by cutting income tax and increasing welfare payments, 16% said they would be less likely to support it and 35% said it would make no difference.

Those most likely to support the tax were Labor voters (58%), Greens voters (49%) and younger respondents (43% of people aged 18-34). 46% of Coalition voters and 46% of those aged 55+ said it would make no difference to their view.

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Carbon Pricing

Mar 29, 2011

Q. Do you support or oppose the Government’s recent announcement to introduce a carbon pricing scheme from 1 July 2012, which will require industries to pay a tax based on the amount of carbon pollution they emit?

7 March 14 March Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total support 35% 38% 34% 63% 14% 56%
Total oppose 48% 49% 51% 23% 80% 24%
Strongly support 9% 12% 12% 22% 4% 29%
Support 26% 26% 22% 41% 10% 27%
Oppose 19% 17% 19% 12% 24% 13%
Strongly oppose 29% 32% 32% 11% 56% 11%
Don’t know 18% 13% 15% 14% 7% 19%

Support for the Government’s carbon pricing scheme has fallen over the last 2 weeks. 34% now support the scheme and 51% are opposed.

Opinion has polarized among voters for the major parties. Support among Labor voters has increased from 55% to 63% while opposition from Coalition voters has increased from 73% to 80%.  Support has fallen among Greens voters – 2 weeks ago they split 78% support/11% oppose compared to this week’s 56% support/24% oppose.

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Form of Compensation Preferred

Mar 28, 2011

Q. The Federal Government says that the funds raised from the carbon tax will be used to compensate those affected by price increases. Which of the following forms of compensation do you favour?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
A direct payment to households 39% 44% 37% 50%
An income tax cut 33% 36% 34% 26%
A cut to the GST rate 13% 11% 17% 8%
Cuts to corporate taxes 2% 1% 2% 1%
Don’t know 13% 8% 10% 14%

39% favour compensation as a direct payment to households and 33% favour income tax cuts. Greens voters (50%) and Labor voters (44%) are most likely to favour a direct payment while Coalition voters split 37% direct payment/34% tax cut.

Older people strongly favour a direct payment  – among those aged 55+, 51% favour direct payment and 21% a tax cut, while for those aged 18-44, 39% favour a tax cut and 33% favour a direct payment.

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Early Election over Carbon Tax

Mar 28, 2011

Q. Do you think the Government should call an early election over the carbon tax?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Yes 40% 16% 67% 17%
No 44% 72% 20% 69%
Don’t know 17% 11% 13% 13%

40% think that the Government should call an early election over the carbon tax and 44% think they should not. 67% of Coalition voters favour an early election while 72% of Labor voters and 69% of Greens voters do not.

Men favour an early election 47%/41% while women oppose 46%/33%.

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To tax or not to tax, that is the question

Mar 21, 2011

First published on The Drum: 15/03/2011

Context is everything. All of a sudden Labor’s political predicament does not seem as dire; no-one is dead or missing; nuclear reactors aren’t melting down; the only after-shocks are electoral.

The enormity of the Japan catastrophe wipes everything else from public consciousness, allowing a wounded prime minister and her team to step back from the limelight, reflect and regroup.

As this week’s Essential Report shows, there is a path to repairing the damage the government has suffered and a way of setting up a debate that could, in the long-term, see it regain the political initiative.

Like so much in politics, the secret lies in the questions you ask. Ask whether people support a price on carbon and the answer is a decisive ‘no’.

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The Carbon Tax

Mar 21, 2011

Q. Thinking about the proposed carbon tax, do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

Total agree Total disagree Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know
A carbon tax will substantially increase the cost of electricity 79% 8% 47% 32% 6% 2% 13%
The cost of electricity will increase substantially even without a carbon tax 78% 11% 26% 52% 10% 1% 11%
A carbon tax is an effective way to force large polluting companies to reduce their carbon pollution 42% 43% 13% 29% 21% 22% 14%
A carbon tax will increase investment in renewable energy 41% 38% 14% 27% 20% 18% 22%

79% agree that a carbon tax will substantially increase the cost of electricity but 78% agree that the cost of electricity will increase substantially even without a carbon tax.

Respondents were evenly divided over whether a carbon tax is an effective way to force large polluting companies to reduce their carbon pollution (42% agreer/43% disagree) and whether a carbon tax will increase investment in renewable energy (41% agree/38% disagree).

Males (84%) were more likely than females (74%) to agree or strongly agree that ‘a carbon tax will substantially increase the costs of electricity.’

Females (53%) were more likely than males (41%) to agree or strongly agree that ‘a carbon tax is an effective way to force large polluting companies to reduce their carbon pollution.’

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Carbon Pricing

Mar 14, 2011

Q. Do you support or oppose the Government’s recent announcement to introduce a carbon pricing scheme from 1 July 2012, which will require industries to pay a tax based on the amount of carbon pollution they emit?

Last week This week Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total support 35% 38% 55% 20% 78%
Total oppose 48% 49% 32% 73% 11%
Strongly support 9% 12% 17% 4% 39%
Support 26% 26% 38% 16% 39%
Oppose 19% 17% 17% 20% 6%
Strongly oppose 29% 32% 15% 53% 5%
Don’t know 18% 13% 13% 8% 11%

Support for the Government’s proposed carbon pricing scheme has increased a little since this question was asked last week – from 35% to 38%. The change is due to some previously “undecided” respondents forming a view – opposition has increased 1% and “don’t know” decreased by 5%.

There is majority support from Labor and Greens voters while 73% of Liberal/National voters are opposed.

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Carbon Pricing with Compensation

Mar 14, 2011

Q. Would you support or oppose this carbon pricing scheme if the money paid by big polluting industries was used to compensate low and middle income earners and small businesses for increased prices?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total support 54% 78% 34% 80%
Total oppose 30% 11% 51% 7%
Strongly support 17% 29% 6% 39%
Support 37% 49% 28% 41%
Oppose 14% 8% 22% 3%
Strongly oppose 16% 3% 29% 4%
Don’t know 17% 11% 15% 13%

There was a substantial shift in opinion of the Government’s carbon pricing scheme when respondents were told that the money paid by big polluting industries would be used to compensate low and middle income earners and small businesses for increased prices.

Support increased from 38% to 54% and opposition declined from 49% to 30%. The major shift occurred with Labor voters where support increased by 23% to 78%.  Support from Liberal/National voters increased from 20% to 34% while opposition declined 22% to 51%.

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