Federal budget priorities

May 8, 2018

Q. The Federal Budget will be announced on Tuesday 8th Do you think the Government should increase, decrease or keep spending the same for –

  Increase spending Keep spending the same Decrease spending Don’t know   Increase spending May 2017 Change since May 2017
Health care 67% 25% 3% 5% 62% +5
Age pensions 56% 31% 5% 8% 48% +8
Education 55% 33% 6% 6% 54% +1
More affordable housing 52% 36% 6% 6% 44% +8
Assistance to the needy in Australia 46% 41% 7% 7% 38% +8
Protecting Australian jobs 44% 43% 6% 7% 44%
Renewable energy 43% 39% 12% 6% 41% +2
Public transport infrastructure 41% 44% 8% 7% 47% -6
Building highways, roads 37% 48% 9% 6% 38% +1
Scientific research 36% 48% 9% 7% 37% -1
Environmental protection 35% 44% 15% 6% 30% +5
Assistance to the unemployed 33% 44% 17% 6% 22% +11
Anti-terrorism 31% 51% 11% 7% 32% -1
Military/defence 20% 50% 23% 7% 20%
Assistance to businesses 13% 47% 33% 7% 10% +3
Assistance to the needy in the rest of the world 12% 33% 48% 7% 11% +1

 

The areas with majority support for increasing spending were health care (67% support), age pensions (56%), education (55%) and affordable housing (52%).

Since this time last year, the main changes have been increased support for spending on assistance to the unemployed (up 11%), age pensions (up 8%), more affordable housing (up 8%) and assistance to the needy in Australia (up 8%).

The areas with the highest support for decreasing spending were assistance to the needy in the rest of the world (48% support), assistance to businesses (33%) and military/defence (23%).

Federal budget impact

May 8, 2018

Q. In general, do you expect the Federal Budget, will be good or bad for the following?

  Total good Total bad   Very good Good Neither good nor bad Bad Very bad Don’t know Total Good (May ’17) Total Bad (May ’17)
People who are well off 55% 8% 27% 28% 26% 6% 2% 11% 44% 7%
Australian business 47% 8% 10% 37% 31% 7% 1% 12% 43% 8%
The economy overall 35% 19% 6% 29% 34% 15% 4% 12% 21% 24%
Average working people 24% 29% 4% 20% 36% 24% 5% 10% 12% 35%
Australian families 23% 31% 5% 18% 33% 24% 7% 11% 14% 36%
People of lower incomes 22% 43% 5% 17% 25% 27% 16% 11% 11% 48%
Older Australians 20% 24%   5% 15% 27% 28% 12% 12% 10% 45%
Younger Australians 19% 28% 4% 15% 41% 20% 8% 12% 11% 33%
You personally 18% 24%   5% 13% 47% 18% 6% 11% 10% 30%

 

55% thought that the Federal Budget would be good for people who are well off (up 11% from last year’s budget). 47% thought it would be good for Australian business (up 4%), and 35% thought it would be good for the economy overall (up 14%). Less than 25% thought the budget would be good for any another group – although for each group, respondents were more optimistic than last year.

18% thought the Federal Budget would be good for them personally (up 8% from last year’s budget), and 24% thought it would be bad for them (down 6%).

Important budget issues

May 8, 2018

Q. Which of the following areas do you think is most important for the Government to address?

 

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other
More funding to schools and hospitals 28% 32% 26% 35% 21%
Supporting industries that create jobs 22% 19% 29% 13% 25%
Personal tax cuts 17% 16% 18% 11% 22%
Building infrastructure 12% 10% 15% 20% 9%
Fully funding the NDIS 8% 11% 4% 11% 14%
Don’t know 13% 11% 9% 10% 9%

 

28% thought that more funding to schools and hospitals was the most important area for the Government to address, 22% nominated supporting industries that create jobs and 17% wanted personal tax cuts.

Labor (32%) and Greens (35%) voters were more likely to prefer more funding for schools and hospitals while 29% of Liberal National voters nominated supporting industries that create jobs.

Budget Surplus

May 9, 2017

Q. How important is it that the Government returns the budget to surplus? 

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other
Total important 71%   63% 87% 49% 78%
Total not important 19%   28% 9% 43% 13%
Very important 31%   21% 47% 8% 38%
Somewhat important 40%   42% 40% 41% 40%
Not very important 15%   23% 7% 33% 11%
Not at all important 4%   5% 2% 10% 2%
Don’t know 10%   9% 4% 8% 9%

71% thought that returning the budget to surplus was important. Those most likely to think this were Liberal/National voters (87% important), those earning over $104,000 (78%) and those working full time (76%).

19% thought that returning the budget to surplus was not important. Those most likely to think this were Greens voters (43% not important) and ALP voters (28%).

Budget Surplus or Spending

May 9, 2017

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

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other
Return to surplus as soon as possible, cut services, raise taxes 18%   12% 28% 7% 16%
Delay return to surplus, maintain services, invest in infrastructure 65%   75% 59% 81% 67%
Don’t know 18%   13% 12% 12% 17%

65% thought it was more important to delay a return to surplus, maintain services and invest in infrastructure. Those most likely to think this were Greens voters (81%) and ALP voters (75%).

18% it was more important to return to surplus as soon as possible. Those most likely to sat think were Liberal/National voters (28%), those aged 65+ (22%) and those earning over $104,000 (22%).

Federal Budget

May 20, 2014

Q. In general, do you think the Federal Budget, announced on Tuesday 13th May 2014 was good or bad for?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Good

Total Bad

Very good

Good

Neither good nor bad

Bad

Very bad

Don’t know

You personally

13%

52%

3%

10%

31%

29%

23%

4%

Average working people

14%

59%

2%

12%

24%

34%

25%

3%

Australian business

36%

23%

7%

29%

32%

14%

9%

8%

The economy over all

40%

32%

11%

29%

23%

18%

14%

6%

People who are well off

45%

16%

16%

29%

33%

11%

5%

6%

People on lower incomes

11%

66%

3%

8%

18%

27%

39%

4%

Australian families

11%

62%

3%

8%

24%

32%

30%

4%

Older Australians

10%

66%

2%

8%

19%

28%

38%

4%

Younger Australians

16%

55%

5%

11%

25%

22%

33%

5%

More Australians thought that the budget would be bad for each of the group than thought it would be good.

The only exceptions were ‘people who are well off’ (45% good, 16% bad) and ‘Australian business’ (36% thought the budget would be good, 23% bad).

The areas with the highest ‘bad’ rating were ‘older Australians’ (66%), ‘people on lower incomes’ (66%), ‘Australian families’ (62%) and ‘average working people’ (59%).

Download the Essential Report for a voting intention breakdown of this question.

Federal budget: comparison to pre-budget expectations

May 20, 2014

Q. In general, do you think the next Federal Budget, to be announced on Tuesday 13th May 2014 will be good or bad for?

Pre-Budget

Post-Budget

 

Total Good

Total Bad

Total Good

Total Bad

You personally

8%

55%

13%

52%

Average working people

9%

63%

14%

59%

Australian business

25%

33%

36%

23%

The economy over all

28%

36%

40%

32%

People who are well off

40%

23%

45%

16%

People on lower incomes

12%

60%

11%

66%

Australian families

11%

59%

11%

62%

Older Australians

8%

67%

10%

66%

Younger Australians

11%

49%

16%

55%

Perceptions of the how the budget will impact on each of these groups have not shifted dramatically from when the question was last asked prior to the budget.

The key areas of difference are listed below:

  • Compared to prior to the budget, less people now think this that the budget will be bad for Australian business (33% before, 23% after).
  • More people now believe that the budget will be bad for people on lower incomes (60% before, 66% after) and ‘younger Australians’ (49% before, 55% after).

Decisions made in the Budget

May 20, 2014

Decisions made in the Budget (1)

Q. Do you support or oppose the following decisions that were made in the latest Federal Budget, announced on Tuesday 13th May:

 

Total Support

Total Oppose

Strongly support

Support

Neither support nor oppose

Oppose

Strongly oppose

Don’t know

Deregulation of university fees (meaning universities can set their own tuition fees)

17%

58%

5%

12%

21%

24%

34%

4%

Commonwealth funding extended to students at TAFEs, private colleges and sub-bachelor degrees at a cost of $820 million over three years

43%

20%

9%

34%

30%

10%

10%

7%

$7 Medicare co-payment for all visits to the GP, with this money to be used to fund a Medical Research Future Fund.

29%

50%

7%

22%

18%

18%

32%

2%

General patients to pay $5 more and concessional patients 80¢ more for prescription drugs.

23%

58%

5%

18%

18%

26%

32%

2%

Eligibility for the age pension to rise to 70 by 2035

17%

61%

4%

13%

20%

22%

39%

3%

A six-month waiting period for those under-30 before they can access the dole (Newstart)

39%

41%

16%

23%

17%

19%

22%

3%

Tightening eligibility criteria for disability support pensioners for those under 35

42%

33%

12%

30%

21%

16%

17%

4%

University graduates to repay HELP debt once they earn $50,638 (reduced from $53,345)

53%

23%

16%

37%

22%

12%

11%

3%

Cut 16,500 full-time jobs from the public service in the next 3 years

31%

43%

10%

21%

22%

20%

23%

4%

Privatise the Royal Australian Mint

18%

42%

4%

14%

31%

18%

24%

10%

Make those under 25 apply for Youth Allowance, instead of Newstart (Youth Allowance is around $100 less per fortnight

44%

32%

13%

31%

21%

16%

16%

3%

 

Decisions made in the Budget (1) (by voting intention)

Q. Do you support or oppose the following decisions that were made in the latest Federal Budget, announced on Tuesday 13th May:

 

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Green

 

Total Support

Total Oppose

Total Support

Total Oppose

Total Support

Total Oppose

Deregulation of university fees (meaning universities can set their own tuition fees)

8%

81%

28%

35%

14%

69%

Commonwealth funding extended to students at TAFEs, private colleges and sub-bachelor degrees at a cost of $820 million over three years

37%

27%

54%

13%

49%

8%

$7 Medicare co-payment for all visits to the GP, with this money to be used to fund a Medical Research Future Fund.

10%

74%

56%

21%

18%

67%

General patients to pay $5 more and concessional patients 80¢ more for prescription drugs.

10%

77%

42%

28%

13%

69%

Eligibility for the age pension to rise to 70 by 2035

7%

80%

31%

37%

13%

62%

A six-month waiting period for those under-30 before they can access the dole (Newstart)

24%

60%

65%

15%

17%

64%

Tightening eligibility criteria for disability support pensioners for those under 35

32%

49%

62%

15%

26%

46%

University graduates to repay HELP debt once they earn $50,638 (reduced from $53,345)

39%

36%

74%

8%

40%

33%

Cut 16,500 full-time jobs from the public service in the next 3 years

15%

64%

57%

16%

18%

59%

Privatise the Royal Australian Mint

12%

55%

26%

26%

14%

53%

Make those under 25 apply for Youth Allowance, instead of Newstart (Youth Allowance is around $100 less per fortnight

25%

52%

72%

8%

28%

47%

Decisions made in the Budget (2)

Q. Do you support or oppose the following decisions that were made in the latest Federal Budget, announced on Tuesday 13th May:

 

Total Support

Total Oppose

Strongly support

Support

Neither support nor oppose

Oppose

Strongly oppose

Don’t know

Spend $525 on a “green army”

18%

24%

3%

15%

37%

13%

11%

21%

Invest $2.1 million in solar projects in local communities

59%

11%

15%

44%

25%

7%

4%

6%

$100 million for mobile blackspot and wireless coverage in regional areas

60%

11%

15%

45%

26%

7%

4%

4%

A $120M cut to the ABC’s budget

27%

41%

10%

17%

26%

20%

21%

7%

Asylum seekers who have arrived by boat will lose the right to have their case independently reviewed or to have family reunions

48%

27%

25%

23%

19%

14%

13%

5%

Foreign aid frozen at current levels for two years, helping save $7.6 billion over five years

64%

13%

28%

36%

18%

6%

7%

5%

International commitment to spend 0.5 per cent of gross national income on foreign aid abandoned

44%

20%

15%

29%

27%

10%

10%

8%

$3.9bn over five years for major roads in Melbourne, Perth, Toowoomba, Adelaide and the Northern Territory

55%

15%

13%

42%

26%

9%

6%

5%

The HELP debt interest rate changed from CPI to the long term bond rate (an increase of around 1%)

24%

31%

7%

17%

35%

17%

14%

12%

Cut public funding for university courses by 20%

18%

49%

5%

13%

29%

25%

24%

4%

 

Decisions made in the Budget (2) (by voting intention)

Q. Do you support or oppose the following decisions that were made in the latest Federal Budget, announced on Tuesday 13th May:

 

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Green

 

Total Support

Total Oppose

Total Support

Total Oppose

Total Support

Total Oppose

Spend $525 on a “green army”

13%

32%

26%

18%

20%

12%

Invest $2.1 million in solar projects in local communities

59%

11%

61%

11%

77%

3%

$100 million for mobile blackspot and wireless coverage in regional areas

56%

14%

72%

6%

54%

8%

A $120M cut to the ABC’s budget

14%

56%

48%

21%

9%

72%

Asylum seekers who have arrived by boat will lose the right to have their case independently reviewed or to have family reunions

36%

39%

71%

9%

22%

54%

Foreign aid frozen at current levels for two years, helping save $7.6 billion over five years

52%

22%

83%

3%

51%

33%

International commitment to spend 0.5 per cent of gross national income on foreign aid abandoned

32%

29%

64%

8%

23%

49%

$3.9bn over five years for major roads in Melbourne, Perth, Toowoomba, Adelaide and the Northern Territory

49%

19%

70%

7%

42%

27%

The HELP debt interest rate changed from CPI to the long term bond rate (an increase of around 1%)

13%

44%

40%

14%

17%

51%

Cut public funding for university courses by 20%

8%

66%

32%

28%

12%

71%

Decisions in the Budget: Comments

The highest levels of opposition were registered for:

  • Eligibility for the age pension to rise to 70 by 2035 (61% oppose, 17% support)
  • Deregulation of university fees (meaning universities can set their own tuition fees) (58% oppose, 17% support)
  • General patients to pay $5 more and concessional patients 80¢ more for prescription drugs (58% oppose, 23% support)
  • $7 Medicare co-payment for all visits to the GP, with this money to be used to fund a Medical Research Future Fund (50% oppose, 29% support)

The items that more than 50% of Australians supported were:

  • University graduates to repay HELP debt once they earn $50,638 (reduced from $53,345) (53% support, 23% oppose)
  • $3.9bn over five years for major roads in Melbourne, Perth, Toowoomba, Adelaide and the Northern Territory (55% support, 15% oppose)
  • Invest $2.1 million in solar projects in local communities (59% support, 11% oppose)
  • $100 million for mobile blackspot and wireless coverage in regional areas (60% support, 11% oppose)
  • Foreign aid frozen at current levels for two years, helping save $7.6 billion over five years (64% support, 13% oppose)

The tables included demonstrate the various differences by voting intention.


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