Reducing the gap between rich and poor

Oct 14, 2014

Q. Which of the following would do more to reduce the gap between the rich and poor in Australia?

 

Total

 

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Vote Other

 

Income less than $600 pw

Income $600-$1,000 pw

Income $1,000-$1,600 pw

Income over $1,600 pw

Raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations to increase support for those on low incomes

57%

71%

41%

74%

67%

71%

60%

62%

52%

Lowering taxes on the wealthy and corporations to encourage investment and economic growth

18%

12%

30%

12%

13%

12%

14%

19%

25%

Don’t know

25%

17%

29%

13%

20%

17%

27%

19%

22%

57% support raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations to increase support for those on low incomes and 18% support lowering taxes on the wealthy and corporations to encourage investment and economic growth.

Those most likely to support increasing taxes on the wealthy and corporations were Greens voters (74%), Labor voters 71%) and those earning less than $600 pw (71%).

Taxes and services

Oct 7, 2014

Q. Would you rather have more government services if that meant more taxes, less government services in order to reduce taxes or services and taxes about as we have them now?

 

Total

 

 

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Vote other

More services and more taxes

19%

25%

13%

31%

21%

Less services and reduce taxes

28%

24%

33%

19%

28%

Services and taxes as now

35%

33%

39%

31%

31%

Don’t know

19%

17%

14%

20%

20%

35% are satisfied with the balance of taxes and services as we have them now, 28% want less services and reduced taxes and 19% would pay more taxes for more services.

Those most likely to want lower taxes and services were Liberal/National voters (33%) and full-time workers (33%).

Those most likely to prefer more services and taxes were Greens voters (31%) and those with university education (26%).

Budget surplus

Nov 26, 2012

Q. In order to keep to 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

59%

70%

51%

65%

Reduce tax breaks for high income earners

46%

51%

41%

62%

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

43%

42%

48%

52%

Reduce defence spending

38%

40%

33%

70%

Postpone building the NBN

27%

18%

42%

14%

Cut spending on unemployment and disability benefits

26%

20%

36%

17%

Postpone other infrastructure projects like new roads and highways

12%

12%

13%

12%

Measures most supported by respondents in order to keep the commitment to the 2012-13 budget surplus are increasing taxes for big corporations (59%), reducing tax breaks for high income earners (46%) and cutting ‘middle class welfare’ (43%).

Looking at the results by voting intention, the majority of Lib/Nat voters support increasing taxes for big corporations (51%).  Labor voters are most in favour of increasing taxes for big corporations (70%) and reducing tax breaks for high income earners (51%).  Greens voters are most inclined to support reducing defence spending (70%) and increasing taxes for big corporations (65%).

Swan Sings Bruce

Aug 1, 2012

Who knew? Wayne Swan hearts Bruce Springsteen. But, the main point here: Swan is singing the right tune.

The poor folks at the Fin Review are wringing their hands over Swan’s new digs at the wealthy and the powerful (subscription needed) :

Acting Prime Minister Wayne Swan will ramp up his verbal attacks on Clive Palmer, Gina Rinehart and Andrew Forrest today by accusing them of using their wealth to treat the courts, Parliament, and the media as personal playthings.

In a speech lauding the political messages of US rock star Bruce Springsteen, Mr Swan will argue the billionaires have run “blatantly self-interested” campaigns since he accused them in March of threatening Australia’s “fair go” ethos.

“One tycoon is using his money to challenge the principle of fair taxation through electioneering; a second is using his money to challenge it through the courts; and a third is using her money to challenge it by undermining independent journalism,” Mr Swan will say.

The comments are likely to reignite debate about whether the Gillard government is more focused on wealth distribution than wealth creation, and suggest Mr Swan is worried about the party’s loss of its traditional working class support base.

What we love about this is that the journalist, not surprisingly, doesn’t bother to observe — because he isn’t capable of either grasping this fact or isn’t free to actually write it — that Swan is right on the money. The Palmer-Reinhart-Forrest trio, along with other extremely wealthy people, do not care about the future of the country. As I pointed out yesterday, this is a matter of priorities: do you want to make the country healthy, prosperous for all and fair, or, as one mining baron has just done, are you more interested in buying an exclusive home in Singapore.

Instead, it is an entirely false, if predictable, premise to counterpose, as the Fin Review writer does, “Wealth distribution” and “wealth creation”. I could write a treatise on this (for example, pointing out how putting more money in peoples’ hands through wealth distribution creates more wealth by giving people the ability to purchase goods) but let’s just consider one point I made last week: investing in the National Disability Insurance Scheme–which requires public funds investment, which, by definition, is wealth distribution — actually will create billions of dollars MORE in wealth over the coming decades. So, actually, economically, factually, wealth distribution creates more wealth.

I hope Swan keeps singing this tune. The Prime Minister, I think, made a real impression on the public with her steadfast defense of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and her staring down of recalcitrant state premiers who didn’t particularly think much of looking after the rights of the disabled. People want to hear truths that connect with what they see happening. Admittedly, sometimes the electoral benefits might either be slow to catch up or do not align right away. But, I think voters reward people who are truthful and courageous.

A Matter of Priorities

Jul 31, 2012

My favorite philosopher, sometimes, is a US bank robber. A guy named Willie Sutton who, when asked why he robbed banks, replied, “That’s where the money is”. Which comes to mind when we think about the Queeg of Queensland’s refusal to come up with money for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

There is no shortage of money. Period. We don’t need to be cutting government spending because money is cheaper than it’s ever been or worrying about obsessing about very small deficits, when the choice is whether we fund the NDIS or a whole host of other projects.

But, what really brings this into sharp relief is reading about the housing options available to a few:

Mining magnate Gina Rinehart has reportedly spent $S57 million ($43.8 million) on two units, off the plan, in the Seven Palms Sentosa Cove condominium project in Singapore.

A company linked to Mrs Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting purchased a unit on the third floor of the four-storey complex for $S23.3 million as well as a top-floor unit for close to $S33.9 million, according to Singapore’s Business Times newspaper.

There is plenty of money, certainly, if the richest among the people pay a fairer share of taxes. While we have heard a lot about a mythical inability to pay to make sure people with disabilities are afforded fair treatment (we are in a country where a child is expected to wait two years to get a wheelchair), we have not heard — but certainly we’d be happy to publish — the Queeg of Queensland’s plea to the richest among us to pay higher personal taxes, or a fair resources tax, and perhaps forgo, uh, optional housing choices so that children who need wheelchairs get them quickly.

To channel Willie Sutton, if you want to know where to go to find money so children can have wheelchairs, we’re happy to provide the addresses of a few people who are kicking back in Singapore.


@jonathantasini

Mining Investment

Jun 12, 2012

Q. Which of the following statements is closest to your view?

 

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Labour costs and taxes threaten the future of mining investment in Australia

32%

19%

47%

16%

Mining companies want Australian resources and they will continue to invest here despite labour costs and taxes

49%

62%

39%

69%

Don’t know

20%

19%

14%

15%

49% agree with the statement that mining companies want Australian resources and they will continue to invest here despite labour costs and taxes and 32% agree that labour costs and taxes threaten the future of mining investment in Australia.

Those most likely to agree that labour costs and taxes threaten the future of mining investment in Australia were Liberal/National voters (47%) and residents of Queensland (41%).

Reason for Budget Deficit

Apr 10, 2012

Q. The Federal Government is currently running a budget deficit, but intends to return to surplus with the budget for 2012-13 to be announced next month. Which of the following do you think has been most responsible for the deficit over the last few years?

 

Total 11/4/11

Total 10/4/12

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Poor economic management by the Government

23%

28%

7%

48%

7%

Big companies not paying their fair share of taxes

17%

16%

28%

5%

28%

Lower tax revenues because of the Global Financial Crisis

13%

16%

27%

10%

22%

Spending on big projects like the National Broadband Network

14%

15%

14%

17%

10%

The cost of the Government’s GFC stimulus packages

19%

12%

11%

13%

15%

Don’t know

15%

14%

13%

8%

18%

Overall, respondents believe the main reasons for the budget deficit are poor economic management by the Government (28%), big companies not paying their fair share of taxes (16%) and lower tax revenues because of the Global Financial Crisis (16%).

Since this question was asked 12 months ago, those blaming the Government for poor economic management has increased from 23% to 28% and those blaming the cost of the Government’s GFC stimulus packages has declined from 19% to 12%.

Labor voters were most likely to blame big companies not paying their fair share of taxes (28%) and lower tax revenues because of the GFC (27%) while Liberal/National voters blame poor economic management by the Government (48%). Greens voters tended to blame big companies not paying their fair share of taxes (28%).

Comments »

Return to Surplus

Apr 10, 2012

Q. Do you think it is more important for the Government to return the budget to surplus by 2012/13 as planned – which may mean cutting services and raising taxes – OR should they delay the return to surplus and maintain services and invest in infrastructure?

 

Total 4/4/11

 

Total 28/11/11

Total 10/4/12

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Return to surplus by 2012/13, cut services, raise taxes

14%

13%

12%

13%

13%

7%

Delay return to surplus, maintain services, invest in infrastructure

69%

71%

73%

73%

76%

81%

Don’t know

17%

15%

15%

13%

12%

12%

 

12% support the return to surplus by 2012/13 if it means cutting services and raising taxes and 73% think the Government should delay the return to surplus and maintain services and investment. Support for a return to surplus has not significantly changed since this question was asked in November last year.

Comments »

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