Essential Report

Government Actions on Economy

Aug 29, 2011

Q. If the Australian economy weakens and unemployment goes up would you approve or disapprove of the Government taking the following actions?

Total approve Total disapprove Strongly approve Approve Disapprove Strongly disapprove Don’t know
Reduce interest rates 79% 11% 32% 47% 8% 3% 11%$
Cut taxes for both individuals and businesses 61% 25% 16% 45% 21% 4% 14%
Cut taxes on low and middle income earners to help with cost of living while offsetting the revenue loss with a carbon tax on the 500 big polluters 61% 27% 26% 35% 15% 12% 12%
Introduce a mining tax on the big miners and use the money for govt. investment in infrastructure and social spending to stimulate the economy 58% 26% 24% 34% 16% 10% 16%
Cut taxes on lower and middle income earners to help with cost of living with no offsetting carbon tax on the 500 big polluters 51% 33% 15% 36% 24% 9% 16%
Cut taxes and cut Government investment in infrastructure and social spending 39% 43% 12% 27% 30% 13% 18%

Actions most approved were reduce interest rates (79% approve), cut taxes for both individuals and businesses (61%) and cut taxes on low and middle income earners to help with cost of living while offsetting the revenue loss with a carbon tax on the 500 big polluters (61%).

Cutting taxes while offsetting the revenue loss with a carbon tax was more popular than not offsetting the tax cuts with a carbon tax (61% to 51%).

The only action not approved by a majority was cutting taxes and investment in infrastructure and social spending (39% approve/43% disapprove). This was approved by 48% of Liberal/National voters but only 33% of Labor voters and 27% of Greens voters.

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Support for Carbon Pricing

Jul 18, 2011

Q. Do you support or oppose the Government’s proposal 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 28 March 18 April 23 May 30 May 14 June 11 July 18 July Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total support 35% 38% 34% 39% 41% 38% 38% 35% 39% 75% 14% 75%
Total oppose 48% 49% 51% 49% 44% 48% 49% 53% 49% 13% 79% 14%
Strongly support 9% 12% 12% 13% 14% 14% 13% 11% 15% 35% 1% 44%
Support 26% 26% 22% 26% 27% 24% 25% 24% 24% 40% 13% 31%
Oppose 19% 17% 19% 15% 15% 19% 19% 19% 16% 8% 22% 6%
Strongly oppose 29% 32% 32% 34% 29% 29% 30% 34% 33% 5% 57% 8%
Don’t know 18% 13% 15% 12% 15% 15% 13% 12% 12% 12% 7% 11%

39% (up 4%) support the Government’s proposed carbon pricing scheme and 49% (down 4%) oppose. It is supported by 75% of Labor voters and 75% of Greens voters but opposed by 79% of coalition voters. This represents an increase in support since the previous survey (conducted before the Government’s announcement) but is similar to the June results.

By age, those aged under 35 split 44% support/42% oppose, and those aged 55+ split 38% support/55% oppose.

For those who consider themselves very well or somewhat informed about the carbon pricing scheme, 44% support and 53% oppose.

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Support for Carbon Tax

Jul 13, 2011

Q. Does the Government’s decision to exempt fuel from the carbon tax for households, trade and small business make you more or less likely to support a carbon tax or does it make no difference?

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

18-34

Aged

35-54

Aged 55+
Total more likely to support 30% 50% 20% 44% 30% 31% 41% 26% 24%
Total less likely to support 11% 8% 11% 19% 14% 8% 12% 13% 10%
A lot more likely to support 7% 18% 2% 12% 9% 6% 8% 7% 6%
A little more likely to support 23% 32% 18% 32% 21% 25% 33% 19% 18%
A little less likely to support 6% 8% 5% 13% 7% 4% 8% 7% 5%
A lot less likely to support 5% * 8% 8% 7% 4% 4% 6% 5%
Makes no difference 52% 36% 66% 29% 50% 53% 37% 55% 63%
Don’t know 6% 6% 2% 5% 5% 7% 9% 6% 3%

More than half the respondents (52%) said the Government’s decision to exempt fuel from the carbon tax for households, trade and small business makes no difference to their support for the carbon tax. 30% say it makes them more likely to support the tax and 11% less likely.

Those more likely to support the tax were Labor voters (50%), Greens voters (44%) and people aged under 35 (41%).

Those most likely to say it makes no difference were Coalition voters (66%) and people aged 55+ (63%).

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Support for Carbon Pricing

Jun 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?

7 March 14 March 28 March 18 April 23 May 30 May Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total support 35% 38% 34% 39% 41% 38% 38% 60% 19% 68%
Total oppose 48% 49% 51% 49% 44% 48% 49% 28% 72% 18%
Strongly support 9% 12% 12% 13% 14% 14% 13% 24% 3% 35%
Support 26% 26% 22% 26% 27% 24% 25% 36% 16% 33%
Oppose 19% 17% 19% 15% 15% 19% 19% 17% 20% 10%
Strongly oppose 29% 32% 32% 34% 29% 29% 30% 11% 52% 8%
Don’t know 18% 13% 15% 12% 15% 15% 13% 12% 9% 13%

38% support the Government’s proposed carbon pricing scheme and 49% oppose – no significant change since the question was asked in May. It is supported by 60% of Labor voters and 68% of Greens voters but opposed by 72% of coalition voters.

By age, those aged under 35 split 46% support/39% oppose, and those aged 55+ split 31% support/62% oppose.

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Support for Carbon Pricing

May 30, 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 28 March 18 April 23 May 30 May Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total support 35% 38% 34% 39% 41% 38% 62% 17% 62%
Total oppose 48% 49% 51% 49% 44% 48% 22% 73% 23%
Strongly support 9% 12% 12% 13% 14% 14% 26% 4% 29%
Support 26% 26% 22% 26% 27% 24% 36% 13% 33%
Oppose 19% 17% 19% 15% 15% 19% 13% 23% 17%
Strongly oppose 29% 32% 32% 34% 29% 29% 9% 50% 6%
Don’t know 18% 13% 15% 12% 15% 15% 16% 11% 14%

38% support the Government’s proposed carbon pricing scheme and 48% oppose. Although a change from last week’s figures this is much the same as recorded in the April poll. It is supported by 62% of Labor and Greens voters but opposed by 73% of coalition voters.

By age, those aged under 35 split 44% support/35% oppose, and those aged 55+ split 33% support/58% oppose.

For those who believe that climate change is happening and is caused by human activity 60% support and 24% oppose. For those who believe that we may just be witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate 13% support and 80% oppose

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Early Election over Carbon Tax

May 30, 2011

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

28 March 31 May Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Yes 40% 42% 15% 71% 18%
No 44% 42% 68% 19% 66%
Don’t know 17% 16% 17% 11% 16%

42% think the Government should call an early election over the carbon tax and 42% disagree. This is similar to the views recorded in the previous poll in March and is strongly associated with voting intention.

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Who Will Pay Carbon Tax?

May 26, 2011

Q. Thinking about Carbon Tax, how would you expect it will be paid? (This question has been commissioned by Network Ten)

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

18-34

Aged

35-54

Aged 55+
Industries will have to absorb the costs 14% 17% 9% 22% 14% 13% 16% 14% 10%
Consumers will end up paying it because industry will increase prices 63% 54% 79% 40% 63% 63% 59% 65% 65%
Industries will pay and consumers will be compensated for any price increases 13% 17% 8% 32% 13% 13% 12% 11% 16%
Don’t know 10% 11% 4% 6% 10% 11% 13% 10% 8%

Nearly two thirds (63%) of respondents believe that consumers will end up paying the carbon tax because industry will increase prices – 14% think industries will have to absorb the costs and 13% think industries will pay but consumers will be compensated for price increases.

Greens voters are least likely to think that consumers will end up paying for it (40%). Otherwise perceptions are similar across demographic groups.

Of those who think consumers will end up paying, 30% support the scheme and 58% oppose.

Of those who think industry will absorb the costs, 74% support the scheme and 21% oppose.

Of those who think Industries will pay and consumers will be compensated, 74% support the scheme and 19% oppose.

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Perceptions of Welfare

May 23, 2011

Q. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

Total agree Total disagree Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know
Households earning more than $150,000 a year don’t need help through family payments 67% 27% 29% 38% 20% 7% 6%
Households on high incomes pay high taxes so should get family payments for bringing up children 33% 61% 7% 26% 41% 20% 7%
Welfare payments should only go to those on low incomes 66% 29% 23% 43% 23% 6% 5%
All taxpayers, regardless of their income, should be eligible for some form of Government payment 35% 57% 8% 27% 36% 21% 8%
Family payments aren’t really welfare – they just provide assistance for families raising children. 60% 32% 14% 46% 23% 9% 7%
Welfare payments should be reduced for those who have been on them long term. 41% 48% 15% 26% 33% 15% 12%
Welfare and family payments should be lower to encourage people to be more self-reliant and not rely so much on the Government 40% 50% 12% 28% 35% 15% 9%
People on low incomes receiving welfare should have to justify how they spend it 47% 46% 13% 34% 31% 15% 6%
Welfare for low-income families is different from family payments to middle-income families 61% 22% 14% 47% 18% 4% 17%
The purpose of welfare payments is to reduce the difference in income between people with higher incomes and those with lower incomes 40% 49% 8% 32% 36% 13% 11%

About two-thirds of respondents agreed that “Households earning more than $150,000 a year don’t need help through family payments” (67%) and “Welfare payments should only go to those on low incomes” (66%).  Although these statements were more strongly supported by Labor and Greens voters, 61% of Liberal/National voters agree that “Households earning more than $150,000 a year don’t need help through family payments”.

For households earning under $100K, 77% agree “Households earning more than $150,000 a year don’t need help through family payments” and 73% agree “Welfare payments should only go to those on low incomes”.

However, of households earning $150K+, 62% disagree that “Households earning more than $150,000 a year don’t need help through family payments” and 50% disagree that “Welfare payments should only go to those on low incomes”.

Although most respondents (60%) think that family payments are different from welfare benefits, only 33% agree that “Households on high incomes pay high taxes so should get family payments for bringing up children”.

Opinions are divided over issues regarding the obligations of people receiving welfare. 47% agree that “People on low incomes receiving welfare should have to justify how they spend it” and 46% disagree – 58% of Liberal/National voters agree but 55% of Labor voters disagree.

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