Carbon Pricing

Mar 29, 2011

Q. Do you support or oppose the Government’s recent announcement to introduce a carbon pricing scheme from 1 July 2012, which will require industries to pay a tax based on the amount of carbon pollution they emit?

7 March 14 March Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total support 35% 38% 34% 63% 14% 56%
Total oppose 48% 49% 51% 23% 80% 24%
Strongly support 9% 12% 12% 22% 4% 29%
Support 26% 26% 22% 41% 10% 27%
Oppose 19% 17% 19% 12% 24% 13%
Strongly oppose 29% 32% 32% 11% 56% 11%
Don’t know 18% 13% 15% 14% 7% 19%

Support for the Government’s carbon pricing scheme has fallen over the last 2 weeks. 34% now support the scheme and 51% are opposed.

Opinion has polarized among voters for the major parties. Support among Labor voters has increased from 55% to 63% while opposition from Coalition voters has increased from 73% to 80%.  Support has fallen among Greens voters – 2 weeks ago they split 78% support/11% oppose compared to this week’s 56% support/24% oppose.

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Form of Compensation Preferred

Mar 28, 2011

Q. The Federal Government says that the funds raised from the carbon tax will be used to compensate those affected by price increases. Which of the following forms of compensation do you favour?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
A direct payment to households 39% 44% 37% 50%
An income tax cut 33% 36% 34% 26%
A cut to the GST rate 13% 11% 17% 8%
Cuts to corporate taxes 2% 1% 2% 1%
Don’t know 13% 8% 10% 14%

39% favour compensation as a direct payment to households and 33% favour income tax cuts. Greens voters (50%) and Labor voters (44%) are most likely to favour a direct payment while Coalition voters split 37% direct payment/34% tax cut.

Older people strongly favour a direct payment  – among those aged 55+, 51% favour direct payment and 21% a tax cut, while for those aged 18-44, 39% favour a tax cut and 33% favour a direct payment.

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To tax or not to tax, that is the question

Mar 21, 2011

First published on The Drum: 15/03/2011

Context is everything. All of a sudden Labor’s political predicament does not seem as dire; no-one is dead or missing; nuclear reactors aren’t melting down; the only after-shocks are electoral.

The enormity of the Japan catastrophe wipes everything else from public consciousness, allowing a wounded prime minister and her team to step back from the limelight, reflect and regroup.

As this week’s Essential Report shows, there is a path to repairing the damage the government has suffered and a way of setting up a debate that could, in the long-term, see it regain the political initiative.

Like so much in politics, the secret lies in the questions you ask. Ask whether people support a price on carbon and the answer is a decisive ‘no’.

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The Carbon Tax

Mar 21, 2011

Q. Thinking about the proposed carbon tax, do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

Total agree Total disagree Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know
A carbon tax will substantially increase the cost of electricity 79% 8% 47% 32% 6% 2% 13%
The cost of electricity will increase substantially even without a carbon tax 78% 11% 26% 52% 10% 1% 11%
A carbon tax is an effective way to force large polluting companies to reduce their carbon pollution 42% 43% 13% 29% 21% 22% 14%
A carbon tax will increase investment in renewable energy 41% 38% 14% 27% 20% 18% 22%

79% agree that a carbon tax will substantially increase the cost of electricity but 78% agree that the cost of electricity will increase substantially even without a carbon tax.

Respondents were evenly divided over whether a carbon tax is an effective way to force large polluting companies to reduce their carbon pollution (42% agreer/43% disagree) and whether a carbon tax will increase investment in renewable energy (41% agree/38% disagree).

Males (84%) were more likely than females (74%) to agree or strongly agree that ‘a carbon tax will substantially increase the costs of electricity.’

Females (53%) were more likely than males (41%) to agree or strongly agree that ‘a carbon tax is an effective way to force large polluting companies to reduce their carbon pollution.’

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Carbon Pricing

Mar 14, 2011

Q. Do you support or oppose the Government’s recent announcement to introduce a carbon pricing scheme from 1 July 2012, which will require industries to pay a tax based on the amount of carbon pollution they emit?

Last week This week Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total support 35% 38% 55% 20% 78%
Total oppose 48% 49% 32% 73% 11%
Strongly support 9% 12% 17% 4% 39%
Support 26% 26% 38% 16% 39%
Oppose 19% 17% 17% 20% 6%
Strongly oppose 29% 32% 15% 53% 5%
Don’t know 18% 13% 13% 8% 11%

Support for the Government’s proposed carbon pricing scheme has increased a little since this question was asked last week – from 35% to 38%. The change is due to some previously “undecided” respondents forming a view – opposition has increased 1% and “don’t know” decreased by 5%.

There is majority support from Labor and Greens voters while 73% of Liberal/National voters are opposed.

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Carbon Pricing with Compensation

Mar 14, 2011

Q. Would you support or oppose this carbon pricing scheme if the money paid by big polluting industries was used to compensate low and middle income earners and small businesses for increased prices?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total support 54% 78% 34% 80%
Total oppose 30% 11% 51% 7%
Strongly support 17% 29% 6% 39%
Support 37% 49% 28% 41%
Oppose 14% 8% 22% 3%
Strongly oppose 16% 3% 29% 4%
Don’t know 17% 11% 15% 13%

There was a substantial shift in opinion of the Government’s carbon pricing scheme when respondents were told that the money paid by big polluting industries would be used to compensate low and middle income earners and small businesses for increased prices.

Support increased from 38% to 54% and opposition declined from 49% to 30%. The major shift occurred with Labor voters where support increased by 23% to 78%.  Support from Liberal/National voters increased from 20% to 34% while opposition declined 22% to 51%.

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Turning around the Titanic

Mar 8, 2011

First published on The Drum: 08/03/2011

The media works in eight-hour news cycles, politicians live and die by three-year cycles, while the planet’s climate is working on a significantly longer time frame.

The way these three cycles interplay over the next few months will determine not only the outcome of the next federal election but whether Australia will be a beneficiary or a victim of the shift in energy use that climate change will inevitably require*.

As this week’s Essential Report shows the Government has taken a short-term hammering after it’s decision to move on a carbon price. Not only has the Government failed to win popular support for its carbon pricing scheme, this has translated into a 4 per cent turnaround in the Two Party Preferred.

Of particular concern to Labor would be the high level of strong opposition, compared to strong support for the plan and the fact that barely half of Labor voters are backing the scheme.

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Delay Carbon Tax

Mar 7, 2011

Q. Do you think Australia should delay imposing a carbon pollution tax until the US has established an equal or stronger carbon pricing system? (Question commissioned by Network Ten)

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Men Women Aged

18-34

Aged

35-54

Aged 55+
Yes 45% 33% 62% 13% 51% 40% 34% 47% 56%
No 33% 47% 21% 71% 34% 33% 40% 31% 29%
Don’t know 21% 20% 17% 16% 15% 27% 25% 22% 15%

45% of respondents think Australia should delay imposing a carbon pollution tax until the US has established an equal or stronger carbon pricing system and 33% think we should not delay.

Those most likely to think Australia should delay imposing a carbon pollution tax were Coalition voters (62%), men (51%) and aged 55+ (56%).

Those most likely to disagree were Greens voters (71%), Labor voters (47%) and aged 18-34 (40%).

Download the Network Ten: Essential Question of the Week (1.1 MB pdf)

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