Awareness of Newstart payment amount

Aug 6, 2019

Q. As far as you know, how much is the weekly Newstart payment for a single person with no children (this is the benefit paid to people who are out of work)?

  Total Gender Age   June

2018

Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+  
Less than $250 per week 24% 23% 25% 25% 23% 25%   23%
Between $250 and $300 per week 40% 40% 40% 33% 40% 46%   27%
Between $300 and $400 per week 10% 10% 9% 11% 11% 8%   10%
More than $400 per week 5% 6% 4% 8% 5% 2%   4%
Don’t know 21% 21% 22% 23% 22% 19%   36%
Base (n) 1,102 543 559 348 374 380   1,091
  • Two-fifths (40%) of participants correctly selected ‘Between $250 and $300 per week’ as the Newstart payment.
  • Younger participants (18-34 year olds) were less likely than other age groups to correctly select the Newstart payment (33%), while 55+ year olds (46%) were more likely than others.
  • In June 2018 only a quarter (27%) of participants selected the correct weekly amount for Newstart, which is significantly lower than in 2019, and more than a third (36%) didn’t know.
  Total Income
NET: Lower Income NET: Mid-Income NET: High Income
Less than $250 per week 24% 24% 28% 23%
Between $250 and $300 per week 40% 46% 38% 37%
Between $300 and $400 per week 10% 9% 13% 9%
More than $400 per week 5% 4% 4% 8%
Don’t know 21% 17% 17% 23%
Base (n) 1,102 399 301 275
  • Almost one-in-ten (8%) high income participants thought that the weekly Newstart amount was more than $400, twice as many as those on lower or mid-incomes (both 4%).
  • Forty-six percent of lower income participants correctly selected $250-$300 per week as the Newstart payment.

Appropriateness of Newstart benefit amount

Aug 6, 2019

Q. The Newstart benefit for a single person with no children is about $280 per week.

Do you think it is too high, too low or about right?

  Total Gender Age c June

2018

Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+  
Too high 5% 7% 3% 6% 7% 2%   9%
About right 30% 31% 30% 42% 24% 27%   26%
Too low 58% 57% 59% 46% 60% 66%   50%
Don’t know 7% 5% 8% 6% 9% 5%   15%
Base (n) 1,102 543 559 348 374 380   1,091
  • Almost three-fifths (58%) of participants thought that the Newstart benefit of $280 per week was too low for a single person with no children.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of participants over 55 years old thought that the Newstart benefit was too low, compared to 46% of those 18-34 years old.
  Total Federal Voting Intention
Labor Coalition Greens NET: Other
Too high 5% 3% 7% 2% 9%
About right 30% 25% 40% 25% 25%
Too low 58% 66% 48% 69% 59%
Don’t know 7% 6% 6% 3% 7%
Base (n) 1,102 320 387 107 159
  • Two-thirds (66%) of Labor voters thought that the Newstart benefit was too low, compared to 48% of Coalition voters. Coalition voters were more likely than Labor voters to believe that the benefit was about right (40% Coalition, 25% Labor).

Attitudes towards Newstart

Aug 6, 2019

Q. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements about job searching and Newstart?

  NET: Agree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree, nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree
In Australia, no-one should have to go without essentials like food, healthcare and power 84% 61% 23% 10% 3% 3%
Politicians are out of touch with what it’s like for people having to live off Newstart payments 73% 49% 23% 16% 7% 4%
Increasing the Newstart payment could help people find jobs, by providing funds for transport, internet access and training 66% 33% 33% 16% 12% 6%
The money it would cost to increase the Newstart payments would be better spent on other services 30% 12% 18% 30% 20% 20%
  • A large majority of participants agreed that no-one should have to go without essentials like food, healthcare and power (84%) with three-fifths (61%) strongly agreeing with this statement.
  • Three-quarters (73%) also agreed that politicians are out of touch with what it’s like for people having to live off Newstart payments with almost half (49%) strongly agreeing with this statement.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of participants agreed that increasing the Newstart payment could help people find jobs, by providing funds for transport, internet access and training.
  • Only 30% agreed that the money it would cost to increase the Newstart payments would be better spent on other services.
NET: Agree Total Gender Age
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
In Australia, no-one should have to go without essentials like food, healthcare and power 84% 81% 88% 75% 86% 91%
Politicians are out of touch with what it’s like for people having to live off Newstart payments 73% 71% 75% 65% 74% 78%
Increasing the Newstart payment could help people find jobs, by providing funds for transport, internet access and training 66% 64% 68% 61% 67% 69%
The money it would cost to increase the Newstart payments would be better spent on other services 30% 32% 27% 36% 30% 24%
Base (n) 1,102 543 559 348 374 380
  • Participants over 55 years old were more likely than younger participants to agree that no-one should have to go without essentials like food, healthcare and power (91% compared to 81%); and that politicians are out of touch with what it’s like for people having to live off Newstart payments (78% compared to 70%).
NET: Agree Total Federal Voting Intention
Labor Coalition Greens NET: Other
In Australia, no-one should have to go without essentials like food, healthcare and power 84% 89% 82% 85% 86%
Politicians are out of touch with what it’s like for people having to live off Newstart payments 73% 79% 64% 84% 82%
Increasing the Newstart payment could help people find jobs, by providing funds for transport, internet access and training 66% 72% 61% 78% 68%
The money it would cost to increase the Newstart payments would be better spent on other services 30% 25% 38% 22% 30%
Base (n) 1,102 320 387 107 159
  • Labor voters were more likely than Liberal voters to agree that no-one should have to go without essentials like food, healthcare and power (79% compared to 64%).
  • Coalition voters were more likely to agree than all other voters, that the money it would cost to increase the Newstart payments would be better spent on other services (38% versus 26% all other voters).
  • Coalition voters were also less likely than all other voters to agree that increasing the Newstart payment could help people find jobs, by providing funds for transport, internet access and training (61% versus 72% all other voters).
NET: Agree Total Income
NET: Lower Income NET: Mid-Income NET: High Income
In Australia, no-one should have to go without essentials like food, healthcare and power 84% 89% 86% 76%
Politicians are out of touch with what it’s like for people having to live off Newstart payments 73% 79% 72% 66%
Increasing the Newstart payment could help people find jobs, by providing funds for transport, internet access and training 66% 74% 66% 57%
The money it would cost to increase the Newstart payments would be better spent on other services 30% 26% 32% 34%
Base (n) 1,102 399 301 275
  • Lower income participants were more likely to agree with most of the statements than high income participants.

Preference for spending priorities

Aug 6, 2019

Q. Recent Government commitments to provide a tax break for Australia’s top income earners will cost the country approximately $12B per year, whereas increasing the Newstart payment would cost an estimated $4B per year.

Given the above information, which of the following options would you prefer the Government prioritise its spending?

  Total Gender Age
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
Spend $12B a year to provide a tax cut for Australia’s top income earners 12% 16% 9% 15% 14% 8%
Spend $4B a year to increase the Newstart payment for those looking for a job 70% 68% 71% 64% 66% 77%
Unsure 18% 15% 20% 20% 20% 14%
Base (n) 1,102 543 559 348 374 380
  • 70% of the population would prefer spending on increasing Newstart be made a priority, compared to 12% who think the Stage 3 tax cuts should be a priority.
  • Participants aged over 55 were more likely to prefer the Government prioritise an increase to Newstart (77%) than 18-54 year olds (65%).
  Total Federal Voting Intention
Labor Coalition Greens NET: Other
Spend $12B a year to provide a tax cut for Australia’s top income earners 12% 6% 19% 9% 14%
Spend $4B a year to increase the Newstart payment for those looking for a job 70% 82% 61% 81% 68%
Unsure 18% 11% 20% 10% 18%
Base (n) 1,102 320 387 107 159
  • Labor voters were more likely than Coalition voters (82% versus 61%) to prefer the Government prioritise increasing Newstart over a tax cut for top income earners.
  Total Income
NET: Lower Income NET: Mid-Income NET: High Income
Spend $12B a year to provide a tax cut for Australia’s top income earners 12% 7% 15% 19%
Spend $4B a year to increase the Newstart payment for those looking for a job 70% 78% 71% 60%
Unsure 18% 15% 15% 20%
Base (n) 1,102 399 301 275
  • Lower income earners were more likely to prioritise increasing Newstart (78%) than high income earners (60%) – high income earners were over twice as likely to prioritise a tax cut for top income earners (19%) than lower income earners (7%).

Support or oppose increase to Newstart

Aug 6, 2019

Q. To what extent would you support or oppose an increase to the weekly rate of Newstart from $280 per week to $355 per week?

  Total Federal Voting Intention
Labor Coalition Greens NET: Other
Strongly support 44% 55% 29% 63% 52%
Somewhat support 31% 29% 39% 20% 19%
Somewhat oppose 11% 6% 14% 10% 15%
Strongly oppose 7% 5% 11% 2% 7%
Unsure 7% 4% 6% 6% 6%
Base (n) 1,102 320 387 107 159

Greens and Labor voters were more likely to strongly support an increase to Newstart (63% and 55%) than Coalition voters (29%); while Coalition voters were twice as likely to strongly oppose this measure (11% compared to 5% all other voters).

Awareness of Centrelink ‘Robodebt’ program

Aug 6, 2019

Q. Centrelink is currently conducting a debt recovery program in which welfare recipients are being automatically sent notifications regarding possible over payments. This has been widely referred to as ‘Robodebt’ in the media

How much have you read or heard about this program and the concerns about it?

  Total Gender Age
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
I have heard a lot about this 22% 24% 19% 14% 26% 24%
I have heard a little about this 30% 33% 28% 29% 30% 32%
I am aware of this, but don’t know any details 18% 19% 17% 22% 15% 18%
I haven’t heard of this 30% 24% 36% 35% 30% 27%
Base (n) 1,102 543 559 348 374 380

 

Support or oppose calls to shut down ‘Robodebt’ program

Aug 6, 2019

Q. From what you have read or heard, to what extent do you support or oppose calls to shut down the Centrelink debt recovery program?

Only asked to participants who have heard of program Total Gender Age
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
Strongly support 30% 32% 29% 27% 33% 31%
Somewhat support 28% 28% 28% 35% 26% 24%
Somewhat oppose 17% 18% 15% 15% 14% 19%
Strongly oppose 15% 14% 16% 12% 16% 16%
No opinion 11% 9% 12% 11% 10% 10%
Base (n) 763 408 355 223 258 282
  • 30% of participants who were aware of the Robodebt program strongly supported it being shut down; a further 28% somewhat supported this.

Attitudes towards social media conduct

Aug 6, 2019

Q. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements about the use of platforms like Facebook and Google?

  NET: Agree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Unsure
I am concerned how Facebook and Google collect and use my personal information 80% 49% 31% 8% 5% 8%
There should be tighter regulation of online platforms like Facebook and Google 80% 48% 32% 6% 6% 9%
Platforms like Facebook and Google are responsible if deliberately misleading and harmful news stories are distributed on their platforms 75% 41% 34% 10% 4% 11%
A specialist body is needed to oversee the operations of Facebook and Google 75% 39% 36% 7% 5% 13%
I am not interested how companies like Facebook and Google use my personal data to target ads to me when I’m using their platforms 31% 12% 19% 24% 37% 8%
  • Four-fifths of participants agreed that there should be tighter regulation of online platforms like Facebook and Google, and are concerned with how Facebook and Google collect and use their personal information (both 80%).
  • A further three-quarters of participants agreed that platforms like Facebook and Google are responsible if deliberately misleading and harmful news stories are distributed on their platforms, and a specialist body is needed to oversee the operations of Facebook and Google (both 75%).
NET: Agree Total Gender Age
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
There should be tighter regulation of online platforms like Facebook and Google 80% 78% 81% 69% 81% 87%
I am not interested how companies like Facebook and Google use my personal data to target ads to me when I’m using their platforms 31% 33% 30% 39% 32% 24%
I am concerned how Facebook and Google collect and use my personal information 80% 78% 81% 74% 82% 83%
Platforms like Facebook and Google are responsible if deliberately misleading and harmful news stories are distributed on their platforms 75% 73% 76% 68% 74% 81%
A specialist body is needed to oversee the operations of Facebook and Google 75% 77% 74% 69% 74% 81%
Base (n) 1,102 543 559 348 374 380
  • Participants over 55 years old were more likely to agree that there should be tighter regulation of online platforms like Facebook and Google (87% compared to 76% of 18-54 year olds), these platforms are responsible if deliberately misleading and harmful news stories are distributed on them (81% compared to 71%), and a specialist body is needed to oversee the operations of Facebook and Google (81% compared to 72% of 18-54 year olds).
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