Essential Report

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).

Priorities for upcoming Federal Budget

Sep 22, 2020

Q. From the options below, which of the following initiatives should the government prioritise in the upcoming Federal Budget in October?

Please select your top three choices with 1 being the top priority, 2 being the second top priority and 3 being the third top priority.

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
TOTAL: TOP 3 Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor Liberal + National Greens TOTAL: Other
Build more affordable housing 60% 57% 64% 60% 57% 64% 66% 54% 61% 56%
Invest in renewable energy projects 52% 53% 50% 45% 52% 56% 48% 51% 66% 54%
Invest in large-scale infrastructure projects (e.g. roads, transport networks, ports etc.) 48% 51% 45% 37% 47% 58% 41% 59% 26% 55%
Extend JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments at current rate 47% 47% 47% 52% 45% 45% 52% 39% 61% 44%
Directly fund jobs in aged care 41% 36% 46% 35% 37% 51% 41% 41% 35% 44%
Establish a universally accessible early learning system 27% 29% 25% 38% 31% 13% 29% 24% 33% 27%
Fast-track tax cuts for higher income earners 25% 28% 23% 33% 31% 13% 22% 31% 20% 21%
Base (n) 1,081 539 542 338 374 369 298 460 115 104
  • Building more affordable houses was the most selected issue, with 60% rating this as a Top 3 priority for the Government in the next budget. Investing in renewable energy (52%), investment in large-scale infrastructure (48%) and the extension of JobKeeper and JobKeeper (47%) also rated highly.
  • Fast-tracking tax cuts was considered a Top 3 priority for 25% of people.
  • Coalition voters were more likely to select investment in renewable energy (51%) than the fast-tracking of tax cuts for higher income earners (31%) as a priority issue. Investment in large-scale infrastructure (59%), build affordable housing (54%) and investment in renewables (51%) were the most selected priorities among Coalition voters.

Federal budget priorities

May 8, 2018

Q. The Federal Budget will be announced on Tuesday 8th Do you think the Government should increase, decrease or keep spending the same for –

  Increase spending Keep spending the same Decrease spending Don’t know   Increase spending May 2017 Change since May 2017
Health care 67% 25% 3% 5% 62% +5
Age pensions 56% 31% 5% 8% 48% +8
Education 55% 33% 6% 6% 54% +1
More affordable housing 52% 36% 6% 6% 44% +8
Assistance to the needy in Australia 46% 41% 7% 7% 38% +8
Protecting Australian jobs 44% 43% 6% 7% 44%
Renewable energy 43% 39% 12% 6% 41% +2
Public transport infrastructure 41% 44% 8% 7% 47% -6
Building highways, roads 37% 48% 9% 6% 38% +1
Scientific research 36% 48% 9% 7% 37% -1
Environmental protection 35% 44% 15% 6% 30% +5
Assistance to the unemployed 33% 44% 17% 6% 22% +11
Anti-terrorism 31% 51% 11% 7% 32% -1
Military/defence 20% 50% 23% 7% 20%
Assistance to businesses 13% 47% 33% 7% 10% +3
Assistance to the needy in the rest of the world 12% 33% 48% 7% 11% +1

 

The areas with majority support for increasing spending were health care (67% support), age pensions (56%), education (55%) and affordable housing (52%).

Since this time last year, the main changes have been increased support for spending on assistance to the unemployed (up 11%), age pensions (up 8%), more affordable housing (up 8%) and assistance to the needy in Australia (up 8%).

The areas with the highest support for decreasing spending were assistance to the needy in the rest of the world (48% support), assistance to businesses (33%) and military/defence (23%).

Federal budget impact

May 8, 2018

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

  Total good Total bad   Very good Good Neither good nor bad Bad Very bad Don’t know Total Good (May ’17) Total Bad (May ’17)
People who are well off 55% 8% 27% 28% 26% 6% 2% 11% 44% 7%
Australian business 47% 8% 10% 37% 31% 7% 1% 12% 43% 8%
The economy overall 35% 19% 6% 29% 34% 15% 4% 12% 21% 24%
Average working people 24% 29% 4% 20% 36% 24% 5% 10% 12% 35%
Australian families 23% 31% 5% 18% 33% 24% 7% 11% 14% 36%
People of lower incomes 22% 43% 5% 17% 25% 27% 16% 11% 11% 48%
Older Australians 20% 24%   5% 15% 27% 28% 12% 12% 10% 45%
Younger Australians 19% 28% 4% 15% 41% 20% 8% 12% 11% 33%
You personally 18% 24%   5% 13% 47% 18% 6% 11% 10% 30%

 

55% thought that the Federal Budget would be good for people who are well off (up 11% from last year’s budget). 47% thought it would be good for Australian business (up 4%), and 35% thought it would be good for the economy overall (up 14%). Less than 25% thought the budget would be good for any another group – although for each group, respondents were more optimistic than last year.

18% thought the Federal Budget would be good for them personally (up 8% from last year’s budget), and 24% thought it would be bad for them (down 6%).

Important budget issues

May 8, 2018

Q. Which of the following areas do you think is most important for the Government to address?

 

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other
More funding to schools and hospitals 28% 32% 26% 35% 21%
Supporting industries that create jobs 22% 19% 29% 13% 25%
Personal tax cuts 17% 16% 18% 11% 22%
Building infrastructure 12% 10% 15% 20% 9%
Fully funding the NDIS 8% 11% 4% 11% 14%
Don’t know 13% 11% 9% 10% 9%

 

28% thought that more funding to schools and hospitals was the most important area for the Government to address, 22% nominated supporting industries that create jobs and 17% wanted personal tax cuts.

Labor (32%) and Greens (35%) voters were more likely to prefer more funding for schools and hospitals while 29% of Liberal National voters nominated supporting industries that create jobs.

Budget Surplus

May 9, 2017

Q. How important is it that the Government returns the budget to surplus? 

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other
Total important 71%   63% 87% 49% 78%
Total not important 19%   28% 9% 43% 13%
Very important 31%   21% 47% 8% 38%
Somewhat important 40%   42% 40% 41% 40%
Not very important 15%   23% 7% 33% 11%
Not at all important 4%   5% 2% 10% 2%
Don’t know 10%   9% 4% 8% 9%

71% thought that returning the budget to surplus was important. Those most likely to think this were Liberal/National voters (87% important), those earning over $104,000 (78%) and those working full time (76%).

19% thought that returning the budget to surplus was not important. Those most likely to think this were Greens voters (43% not important) and ALP voters (28%).

Budget Surplus or Spending

May 9, 2017

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

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other
Return to surplus as soon as possible, cut services, raise taxes 18%   12% 28% 7% 16%
Delay return to surplus, maintain services, invest in infrastructure 65%   75% 59% 81% 67%
Don’t know 18%   13% 12% 12% 17%

65% thought it was more important to delay a return to surplus, maintain services and invest in infrastructure. Those most likely to think this were Greens voters (81%) and ALP voters (75%).

18% it was more important to return to surplus as soon as possible. Those most likely to sat think were Liberal/National voters (28%), those aged 65+ (22%) and those earning over $104,000 (22%).

Federal Budget

May 20, 2014

Q. In general, do you think the Federal Budget, announced on Tuesday 13th May 2014 was good or bad for?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Good

Total Bad

Very good

Good

Neither good nor bad

Bad

Very bad

Don’t know

You personally

13%

52%

3%

10%

31%

29%

23%

4%

Average working people

14%

59%

2%

12%

24%

34%

25%

3%

Australian business

36%

23%

7%

29%

32%

14%

9%

8%

The economy over all

40%

32%

11%

29%

23%

18%

14%

6%

People who are well off

45%

16%

16%

29%

33%

11%

5%

6%

People on lower incomes

11%

66%

3%

8%

18%

27%

39%

4%

Australian families

11%

62%

3%

8%

24%

32%

30%

4%

Older Australians

10%

66%

2%

8%

19%

28%

38%

4%

Younger Australians

16%

55%

5%

11%

25%

22%

33%

5%

More Australians thought that the budget would be bad for each of the group than thought it would be good.

The only exceptions were ‘people who are well off’ (45% good, 16% bad) and ‘Australian business’ (36% thought the budget would be good, 23% bad).

The areas with the highest ‘bad’ rating were ‘older Australians’ (66%), ‘people on lower incomes’ (66%), ‘Australian families’ (62%) and ‘average working people’ (59%).

Download the Essential Report for a voting intention breakdown of this question.

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