Social Class

May 17, 2016

Q. Do you believe social classes still exist in Australia? 

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other   Income under $1,000pw Income $1,000 – $1,500pw Income $1,500 – $2,000pw Income $2,000+   Aug 2014
Yes 81% 86% 81% 94% 88% 82% 83% 87% 82% 79%
No 8% 4% 13% 1% 7% 7% 7% 9% 11% 7%
Don’t know 11% 10% 6% 5% 5% 11% 10% 4% 7% 14%

81% agreed that social class still exists in Australia – only 8% disagreed.

94% of Greens voters think that social class still exists compared to 81% of Liberal/National voters.

88% of those aged 55+ think that social class still exists compared to 76% of those aged under 35.

However, there was little difference across income groups.

Social Class Identification

May 17, 2016

Q. Do you consider yourself –

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other   Income under $1,000pw Income $1,000 – $1,500pw Income $1,500 – $2,000pw Income $2,000+   Aug 2014
Working class 34% 42% 28% 26% 40% 46% 40% 31% 21% 31%
Middle class 48% 44% 62% 48% 39% 31% 45% 60% 67% 49%
Upper class 2%   2% 1% 2% 2% <1% 1% 2% 4%   2%
None of them 10%   9% 6% 20% 17% 19% 8% 4% 6%   13%
Don’t know 5% 3% 3% 4% 3% 4% 6% 3% 3% 6%

48% of respondents described themselves as “middle class” and 34% as “working class” – only 2% claimed to be “upper class”.

Those on higher incomes were more likely to identify as “middle class” while those on lower incomes were more likely to identify as “working class”.

The results are not substantially different from those when this question was asked in 2014.

Parties and Social Class

May 17, 2016

Q. Whose interests do you think the Labor Party mainly represent?

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other   Working class Middle class   Apr

2013

Aug 2014
Working class 39% 47% 42% 27% 32% 40% 44% 30% 41%
Middle class 17% 21% 13% 29% 20% 16% 19% 16% 14%
Upper class 10%   6% 11% 14% 16%   14% 7%   13% 8%
All of them 8%   15% 4% 7% 5%   5% 8%   8% 8%
None of them 13%   2% 23% 9% 21%   12% 13%   22% 16%
Don’t know 13% 9% 8% 15% 6% 13% 9% 11% 13%

39% believe that the Labor Party mainly represents working class people and 17% think they represent the middle class. 47% of Labor voters think the Labor Party mainly represents the working class and 29% of Greens voters think they mainly represent the middle class. 23% of Liberal/National voters don’t think they represent any class.

40% of respondents who describe themselves as working class and 44% of those who say they are middle class think the Labor Party mainly represents the working class.

The results are not substantially different from those when this question was asked in 2014.

Parties and Social Class

May 17, 2016

Q. Whose interests do you think the Liberal Party mainly represent?

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other   Working class Middle class   Apr

2013

Aug 2014
Working class 4%   5% 6% 3% 1%   6% 2%   5% 4%
Middle class 15%   8% 28% 7% 11%   13% 19%   20% 17%
Upper class 53%   79% 27% 79% 67%   59% 53%   40% 47%
All of them 12%   2% 29% 2% 8%   7% 16%   17% 14%
None of them 4%   2% 3% 5% 11%   4% 3%   8% 8%
Don’t know 11%   5% 7% 4% 3%   10% 7%   9% 11%

 53% believe that the Liberal Party mainly represents upper class people and 15% think they represent the middle class. 79% of Labor voters and Greens voters think the Liberal Party mainly represent the upper class. 28% of Liberal/National voters think they represent the middle class and 29% think they represent all classes.

59% of respondents who describe themselves as working class and 53% of those who say they are middle class think the Liberal Party mainly represents the upper class.

Since this question was asked in August 2014, the proportion thinking that the Liberals represent the upper class has increased from 47% to 53%.

Approval of Federal Budget

May 10, 2016

Q. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the Federal Budget that was handed down on Tuesday 3rd May?

  Total

 

  Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other   May 2014 May 2015
Total approve 20%   11% 41% 6% 9%   30% 34%
Total disapprove 29%   50% 7% 50% 35%   52% 33%
Strongly approve 4%   2% 8% 1%   10% 8%
Approve 16%   9% 33% 6% 8%   20% 26%
Neither approve nor disapprove 35%   30% 45% 27% 40%   14% 26%
Disapprove 16%   26% 6% 23% 18%   19% 19%
Strongly disapprove 13%   24% 1% 27% 17%   33% 14%
Don’t know 15%   9% 8% 17% 17%   4% 8%

20% approve of the 2016 Federal Budget and 29% disapprove. Compared to previous years, those who neither approve nor disapprove is substantially higher at 35%. Overall, the 2016 budget was rated higher than the 2014 budget but lower than the 2015 budget.

41% of Liberal/National voters approve and 50% of Labor and Greens voters disapprove.

41% of those with incomes less than $600 pw disapprove compared to 25% of those earning $2,000+ pw.

Confidence in Government

May 10, 2016

Q. Does this budget make you feel more confident or less confident in the Government’s ability to manage the economy?

  Total

 

  Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other   May 2015
More confident 21%   15% 38% 8% 11%   31%
Less confident 32%   50% 11% 55% 38%   31%
A lot more confident 4%   1% 9% 1%   7%
A little more confident 17%   14% 29% 7% 11%   24%
Makes no difference 35%   27% 45% 26% 40%   31%
A little less confident 14%   18% 10% 19% 13%   14%
A lot less confident 18%   32% 1% 36% 25%   17%
Don’t know 13%   9% 7% 10% 12%   7%

21% (down from 31% in 2015) say it makes them feel more confident in the Government’s ability to manage the economy and 32% (up 1%) say it makes them feel less confident.

Of those earning over $1,500 pw, 28% say it makes them more confident and 26% say it makes the less confident. For those earning less than $1,000 pw, 16% were more confident and 37% less confident.

Approval of Budget measures

May 10, 2016

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the following measures contained in the Budget?

  Total approve Total dis-approve

 

  Strongly approve Approve Dis-approve Strongly dis-approve Don’t know
Tax cut for people earning over $80,000 43% 44%   11% 32% 24% 20% 13%
Cuts of $1.2 billion to aged care providers 19% 70%   5% 14% 30% 40% 11%
Increasing tax on cigarettes 72% 21%   45% 27% 11% 10% 7%
Capping tax concessions for those with more than $1.6 million in superannuation 62% 21%   28% 34% 13% 8% 17%
Reducing company tax for medium and large businesses over the next 3 years 50% 34%   13% 37% 19% 15% 16%
A taskforce to address tax avoidance by multinational companies 82% 8%   52% 30% 5% 3% 10%
Internships for young unemployed which pay $100 for up to 25 hours work per week on top of their welfare payments. 69% 14%   25% 44% 9% 5% 16%

There was substantial majority approval of addressing tax avoidance by multinationals (82%), increasing tax on cigarettes (72%) and internships for young unemployed (69%).

50% approved reducing company tax – including 72% of Liberal/National voters but only 36% of Labor voters. 55% of those earning over $1,500 pw approved of tax cuts for people earning over $80,000.

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