Attitudes towards Temporary Migrants

May 12, 2020

Q. Temporary migrants include people on skilled worker visas (which are used to cover jobs where there are skill shortages including engineers, nurses and scientists), most New Zealand citizens living in Australia, and international students.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

  TOTAL: Agree TOTAL: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree, nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know
Temporary migrants support the economy by spending their money in Australia 57% 17% 19% 39% 23% 12% 5% 3%
Businesses should hire Australian citizens where they can, even if they’re not as skilled as candidates who are temporary migrants 54% 21% 26% 28% 22% 13% 8% 3%
If temporary migrants pay the same taxes as Australian citizens, they should be entitled to the same government support 52% 20% 21% 31% 24% 11% 9% 4%
It’s realistic to expect temporary residents who lose work in Australia to go back to their home countries 52% 20% 21% 31% 24% 13% 7% 4%
Without temporary migrants, Australia would face skill shortages 48% 23% 15% 33% 24% 12% 11% 5%
Australia would be better off if we had fewer temporary migrants 41% 27% 18% 23% 28% 14% 12% 4%

 

TOTAL: Agree   Employment Status Federal Voting Intention
Total In paid employment Not in paid employment Retired Labor Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Temporary migrants support the economy by spending their money in Australia 57% 60% 51% 64% 59% 62% 56% 50%
Businesses should hire Australian citizens where they can, even if they’re not as skilled as candidates who are temporary migrants 54% 53% 46% 67% 50% 61% 40% 75%
If temporary migrants pay the same taxes as Australian citizens, they should be entitled to the same government support 52% 57% 48% 52% 56% 51% 55% 51%
It’s realistic to expect temporary residents who lose work in Australia to go back to their home countries 52% 52% 44% 63% 51% 59% 32% 65%
Without temporary migrants, Australia would face skill shortages 48% 51% 47% 48% 48% 57% 45% 34%
Australia would be better off if we had fewer temporary migrants 41% 43% 31% 52% 41% 46% 22% 57%
Base (n) 1,067 550 254 212 306 418 86 143
  • More than half of participants agree with any of the statements about temporary migrants – except without temporary migrants, Australia would face skill shortages (48%) and Australia would be better off if we had fewer temporary migrants (41%).
  • Retirees are more likely to agree that businesses should hire Australian citizens where they can, even if they’re not as skilled as candidates who are temporary migrants (67%), Australia would be better off if we had fewer temporary migrants (52%) and it’s realistic to expect temporary residents who lose work in Australia to go back to their home countries (63%) than other participants (51%, 39% and 49% respectively).
  • Similarly other or independent party voters are most likely to agree that businesses should hire Australian citizens where they can, even if they’re not as skilled as candidates who are temporary migrants (75% v 55% all other voters) and Australia would be better off if we had fewer temporary migrants (57% v 41% all other voters).
  • Coalition most likely to agree without temporary migrants, Australia would face skill shortages (57% v 44% all other voters).
  • Greens voters are least likely to agree that businesses should hire Australian citizens where they can, even if they’re not as skilled as candidates who are temporary migrants (40% v 59% all other voters), Australia would be better off if we had fewer temporary migrants (22% v 45% all other voters) and it’s realistic to expect temporary residents who lose work in Australia to go back to their home countries (32% v 57% all other voters).
  • Participants who support Kristina Kenneally’s “Australia first” approach more likely to agree that businesses should hire Australian citizens where they can, even if they’re not as skilled as candidates who are temporary migrants (68%) and Australia would be better off if we had fewer temporary migrants (52%).

Raising Newstart

May 5, 2020

Q. The government has doubled the Newstart allowance to support people out of work for the next six months. When that time expires, which of the following would you prefer to see happen the Newstart allowance?

    Gender Age Group Location
  Total Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Capital Non-Capital
Maintain the current rate ($560 per week) 24% 24% 24% 32% 27% 15% 26% 21%
Increase the former rate to equal the single pension amount ($472 per week) 33% 35% 31% 28% 31% 40% 31% 37%
Return to the former rate ($285 per week) 28% 27% 29% 23% 27% 33% 28% 28%
Unsure 15% 13% 16% 17% 15% 12% 15% 14%
Base (n) 1,093 539 554 341 372 380 734 359

 

    Federal Voting Intention
Total Labor Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Maintain the current rate ($560 per week) 24% 28% 20% 34% 18%
Increase the former rate to equal the single pension amount ($472 per week) 33% 38% 31% 38% 36%
Return to the former rate ($285 per week) 28% 22% 38% 16% 30%
Unsure 15% 12% 11% 12% 15%
Base (n) 1,093 325 435 108 114

 

Spending by a Liberal Government

Apr 22, 2013

Q. If the Liberal Party won Government at the next election, do you think they would increase or decrease spending on the following areas or spend about the same as the Labor Government?

 

Increase spending

Decrease spending

Spend about the same

Don’t know

Public schools

22%

30%

33%

15%

Private schools

28%

27%

28%

16%

Universities

18%

29%

36%

16%

Support for manufacturing industries

26%

23%

32%

19%

Pensions

19%

32%

36%

14%

Welfare support

12%

45%

28%

14%

Health and hospitals

33%

27%

25%

14%

The environment

11%

39%

34%

16%

Defence

31%

19%

34%

16%

Foreign aid

8%

41%

33%

18%

Public transport

23%

26%

35%

16%

Roads

26%

22%

36%

16%

Border security

44%

14%

28%

14%

The arts

7%

40%

32%

21%

Subsidies for business

34%

20%

28%

18%

Overall, respondents were more likely to think a Liberal Government would reduce spending on welfare support, the arts, the environment, foreign aid, pensions, public schools and universities. They were more likely to think they would increase spending on  border security, defence and subsidies for business.

Liberal voters thought a Liberal Government would be more likely to increase than decrease spending on public schools, manufacturing industries, pensions, public transport, health and hospitals, defence, roads, border security and subsidies for business.

Attitudes to public sector cuts

Sep 24, 2012

Q. There have recently been a significant number of public service jobs cut in various states around the country.

How do you think each of the following will fare as are result of public sector job cuts?

 

Get better

Get worse

Stay much the same

Don’t know

The rate of unemployment

4%

61%

25%

10%

Delivery of public services

5%

54%

29%

11%

The welfare of disadvantaged Australians

5%

53%

30%

12%

Retail and spending

4%

50%

35%

11%

The welfare of all Australians

6%

49%

34%

11%

State budgets

18%

42%

27%

13%

The economy in general

11%

41%

37%

11%

Governments’ ability to respond to natural disasters

7%

32%

45%

16%

The majority of respondents believe that the following things will get worse as a result of public sector cuts: the rate of unemployment (61%), delivery of public services (54%) and the welfare of disadvantaged Australians (53%).

The larger portion of respondents also think that retail and spending will get worse (50%), as well as the welfare of all Australians (49%), state budgets (42%) and the economy in general (41%).

A larger portion of respondents believe that the governments’’ ability to respond to natural disasters will stay much the same (45%) than those that believe it will get worse (32%).

Asylum Seeker Debate

Jul 9, 2012

Q. Do you think the current debate over handling of asylum seekers shows that Australian politicians are genuinely concerned about the welfare of asylum seekers or are they just playing politics over the issue?

 

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Genuinely concerned bout asylum seekers

11%

16%

13%

7%

Just playing politics

78%

74%

81%

85%

Don’t know

11%

10%

6%

8%

Only 11% think that Australian politicians are genuinely concerned about the welfare of asylum seekers and 78% think they are just playing politics over the issue.

There were no substantial differences across demographic groups.

Interests Represented by Parties

May 30, 2011

Q. Which political party do you think best represents the interests of –

Labor Liberal Greens Don’t know
Families with young children 34% 31% 5% 29%
Students 30% 28% 10% 33%
Working people on average incomes 40% 32% 5% 23%
Working people on low incomes 43% 27% 6% 24%
Working people on high incomes 13% 63% 2% 22%
People on welfare 38% 23% 8% 30%
Pensioners 33% 28% 5% 34%
Small businesses and self-employed 20% 47% 4% 29%
Big business 13% 62% 2% 23%
The next generation of Australians 19% 31% 17% 33%
Indigenous people 23% 21% 16% 40%
Ethnic communities 22% 21% 15% 42%
Rural and regional Australians 18% 34% 11% 36%

The Labor Party is considered the party which best represents the interests of working people on low and average incomes, people on welfare and pensioners. The Liberal Party is considered best at representing the interests of people on high incomes, big business, small business and self-employed, rural and regional Australians and the next generation. The Greens’ main strengths are in representing the next generation, indigenous people and ethnic communities.

There was little difference between the major parties in terms of representing the interests of families with young children, students, indigenous people and ethnic communities.

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Family Payments

May 23, 2011

Q. The Federal Budget has frozen the income levels above which parents become ineligible for family payments. Do you approve or disapprove of this decision?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total approve 52% 65% 47% 56%
Total disapprove 28% 18% 38% 22%
Strongly approve 17% 25% 12% 24%
Approve 35% 40% 35% 32%
Disapprove 20% 13% 25% 19%
Strongly disapprove 8% 5% 13% 3%
Don’t know 20% 17% 14% 22%

52% of respondents approve of freezing the income levels above which parents become ineligible for family payments and 28% oppose.

65% Labor and 56% of Greens voters approve – and Liberal/National voters are more likely to approve than disapprove (47%/38%).

Respondents with dependent children approve 47%/37% and households earning over $150,000 approve 48%/37%.

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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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