Measures to Return to Surplus

Apr 10, 2012

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

Total

11/4/11

Total 10/4/12

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Increase taxes for big corporations

63%

67%

81%

55%

80%

Reduce tax breaks for high income earners

51%

57%

65%

52%

71%

Postpone major infrastructure projects like the NBN

na

41%

29%

58%

19%

Reduce defence spending

32%

38%

42%

30%

64%

Cut “middle class welfare” such as the Baby Bonus, first home buyers grant and Family Tax Benefit payments

36%

36%

37%

38%

36%

Cut spending on unemployment and disability benefits

21%

23%

18%

32%

12%

It does not need to return to surplus so quickly

38%

63%

67%

66%

58%

Overall, the most favoured means of returning the budget to surplus were increasing taxes for big corporations (67%) and reducing tax breaks for high-income earners (57%). Both these measures were strongly favoured by Labor and Greens voters.

Although support was less strong, these two measures were also two of the three the most preferred among Liberal/National voters – 58% think the Government should postpone major infrastructure projects like the NBN.

The main changes since this question was asked 12 months ago are increases in support for reducing tax breaks for high-income earners (up 6%) and reducing defence spending (up 6%).

Note, although 63% 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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