Essential Report

Perceived Impact of Budget

May 16, 2011

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 Australian businesses?

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

You personally Businesses The economy overall
2010 2011 2010 2011 2010 2011
Total good 22% 11% 27% 20% 36% 27%
Total bad 26% 29% 32% 25% 28% 29%
Very good 3% 2% 3% 3% 6% 4%
Good 19% 9% 24% 17% 30% 23%
Neither good nor bad 33% 44% 9% 31% 10% 25%
Bad 18% 21% 22% 19% 18% 21%
Very bad 8% 8% 10% 6% 10% 8%
Don’t know 20% 16% 31% 23% 26% 20%

Overall there was a less positive response to the 2011 budget than to the 2010 budget. The main differences were that respondents were less likely to rate the budget good and more likely to think it was neither good nor bad. The proportions who thought it was bad were similar to last year.

44% of respondents thought the Federal budget was nether good nor bad for them personally – 11% said it was good and 29% bad. The only substantial differences by demographics were that 51% of respondents aged 55+ thought it was nether good nor bad.

25% thought the budget was bad for business, 20% good and 31% said it was neither. 35% of Labor voters said it was good for business and 45% of Liberal/National voters said it was bad.

Respondents were split over whether it was good or bad for the economy overall – 27% said it was good and 29% bad. Labor voters split 50% good/9% bad compared to Liberal/National voters at 12% good/51% bad.

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Federal Budget Expectations

May 9, 2011

Q. Overall, do you expect the Federal Budget to be good or bad for you personally?

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

18-34

Aged

35-54

Aged 55+
Total good 12% 21% 9% 7% 10% 14% 22% 8% 5%
Total bad 35% 18% 50% 33% 40% 30% 21% 40% 43%
Very good 2% 2% 2% 1% 2% 3% 1% *
Good 10% 19% 7% 7% 9% 12% 19% 7% 5%
Neither good nor bad 44% 54% 36% 53% 43% 44% 45% 42% 46%
Bad 27% 16% 37% 25% 30% 23% 17% 30% 32%
Very bad 8% 2% 13% 8% 10% 7% 4% 10% 11%
Don’t know 9% 7% 6% 7% 6% 12% 11% 10% 6%

35% expect the Federal Budget will be bad for them personally and 12% expect it will be good – 44% think it will be neither.

Labor voters are split – 21% good/18% bad while 50% of Liberal/National voters expect it will be bad and only 9% expect it will be good.

Younger voters are more optimistic than older voters – those aged under 35 are split 22% good/21% bad while 43% of over 55’s expect it will be bad and only 5% good. By income, the only major difference from the average is that 45% of people on incomes under $600 pw expect it will be bad for them.

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Interest in Federal Budget

May 9, 2011

Q. Thinking about the Federal Budget to be announced next week  – how interested are you in reading and hearing about the Federal Budget?

2010 Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Very interested 30% 38% 41% 44% 32%
Somewhat interested 37% 29% 32% 29% 30%
A little interested 22% 21% 19% 20% 28%
Not at all interested 8% 8% 5% 6% 9%
Can’t say 4% 3% 2% *

67% of respondents say they are very or somewhat interested in reading and hearing about the Federal Budget – the same as recorded prior to the 2010 budget. However, those who say they are “very interested” has increased from 30% to 38%.

73% of both Labor and Liberal/National voters say they are interested.

Younger people are less interested – 60% of those under 35 are interested compared to 78% of those aged 55+.

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Reason for Budget Deficit

Apr 11, 2011

Q. The Federal Government is currently running a budget deficit, but intends to return to surplus in 2012-13. Which of the following do you think is most responsible for the deficit?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Poor economic management by the Government 23% 5% 43% 8%
The cost of the Government’s GFC stimulus packages 19% 19% 20% 21%
Big companies not paying their fair share of taxes 17% 29% 6% 30%
Spending on big projects like the National Broadband Network 14% 8% 18% 10%
Lower tax revenues because of the Global Financial Crisis 13% 25% 4% 19%
Don’t know 15% 14% 9% 11%

Overall, respondents believe the main reasons for the budget deficit are poor economic management by the Government (23%), the cost of the Government’s GFC stimulus (19%) and big companies not paying their fair share of taxes (17%).

Labor voters were most likely to blame big companies not paying their fair share of taxes (29%) and lower tax revenues because of the GFC (25%) while Liberal/National voters blame poor economic management by the Government (43%). Greens voters tended to blame big companies not paying their fair share of taxes (30%).

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Measures to Return to Surplus

Apr 11, 2011

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

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Increase taxes for big corporations 63% 79% 51% 77%
Reduce tax breaks for high income earners 51% 57% 46% 67%
Cut “middle class welfare” such as the Baby Bonus, first home buyers grant and Family Tax Benefit payments 36% 33% 41% 39%
Reduce defence spending 32% 36% 26% 51%
Cut spending on unemployment and disability benefits 21% 15% 31% 11%
It does not need to return to surplus so quickly 38% 39% 36% 57%

Overall, the most favoured means of returning the budget to surplus were increasing taxes for big corporations (63%) and reducing tax breaks for high income earners (51%). Both these measures were strongly favoured by Labor and Greens voters.

Although support was less strong, these two measures were also the most preferred among Liberal/National voters.

Note, although 38% 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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Federal Budget

Apr 5, 2011

Q. Do you support or oppose the Australian Government’s proposal to establish a regional processing centre for asylum seekers in East Timor?

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

18-34

Aged

35-54

Aged 55+
Total support 37% 47% 33% 38% 42% 32% 40% 37% 35%
Total oppose 38% 27% 46% 38% 39% 36% 29% 39% 46%
Strongly support 11% 13% 9% 5% 12% 9% 8% 11% 13%
Support 26% 34% 24% 33% 30% 23% 32% 26% 22%
Oppose 18% 16% 20% 22% 18% 18% 17% 20% 18%
Strongly oppose 20% 11% 26% 16% 21% 18% 12% 19% 28%
Don’t know 25% 25% 21% 25% 19% 32% 31% 24% 20%

Opinions on the Australian Government’s proposal to establish a regional processing centre for asylum seekers in East Timor are evenly divided – 37% support the proposal and 38% oppose.

Strongest support comes from Labor voters (47%) and those aged 18-34 (40%). Strongest opposition comes form Liberal/National voters (46%) and those aged 55+ (46%).

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Federal Budget

Apr 4, 2011

Q. Thinking about the next Federal Budget, overall do you think the Government should increase, maintain or cut spending on services and programs?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Increase spending 15% 16% 13% 20%
Maintain spending 49% 58% 46% 54%
Cut spending 22% 14% 31% 15%
Don’t know 14% 12% 10% 11%

49% think the Government should maintain spending in the next Federal Budget, 22% think spending should be cut and 15% think it should be increased.

By voting intention, 74% of Labor voters and Greens voters think spending should be maintained or increased compared to 59% of Liberal/National voters. 31% of Liberal/National voters think spending should be cut.

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