Attitudes to public sector cuts

Sep 24, 2012

Q. There have recently been a significant number of public service jobs cut in various states around the country.

How do you think each of the following will fare as are result of public sector job cuts?

 

Get better

Get worse

Stay much the same

Don’t know

The rate of unemployment

4%

61%

25%

10%

Delivery of public services

5%

54%

29%

11%

The welfare of disadvantaged Australians

5%

53%

30%

12%

Retail and spending

4%

50%

35%

11%

The welfare of all Australians

6%

49%

34%

11%

State budgets

18%

42%

27%

13%

The economy in general

11%

41%

37%

11%

Governments’ ability to respond to natural disasters

7%

32%

45%

16%

The majority of respondents believe that the following things will get worse as a result of public sector cuts: the rate of unemployment (61%), delivery of public services (54%) and the welfare of disadvantaged Australians (53%).

The larger portion of respondents also think that retail and spending will get worse (50%), as well as the welfare of all Australians (49%), state budgets (42%) and the economy in general (41%).

A larger portion of respondents believe that the governments’’ ability to respond to natural disasters will stay much the same (45%) than those that believe it will get worse (32%).

Job security

Aug 28, 2012

Q. How concerned are you that you or some member of your immediate family will lose their job in the next year or so: very concerned, somewhat concerned, or not at all concerned? 

 

8 Jun

09

5 Oct

09

28 Jun 10

18 Oct 10

4 Apr

11

4 Jul

11

3 Oct

11

26 Mar 12

Total

27 Aug 12

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Total concerned

52%

49%

43%

40%

43%

45%

47%

49%

47%

44%

52%

43%

Very concerned

13%

14%

9%

11%

11%

13%

14%

13%

13%

10%

14%

14%

Somewhat concerned

39%

35%

34%

29%

32%

32%

33%

36%

34%

34%

38%

29%

Not at all concerned

35%

40%

38%

42%

43%

39%

37%

36%

37%

42%

35%

43%

Don’t know

6%

6%

12%

10%

8%

8%

7%

8%

8%

8%

5%

7%

No employees in the immediate family

8%

5%

7%

7%

7%

7%

7%

7%

7%

7%

7%

7%

Concern over job security has fallen slightly since the last time the question was polled, declining 2 points up from 49% in March to 47% (total concerned).

Coalition voters are the most likely to be concerned that they or a member of their immediately family will lose their job in the next year or so (52% total concerned), whereas Greens (43%) and Labor voters (44%) are less likely to be concerned.

There were no major differences across income or age groups – except for the under 25’s where 43% were concerned and 48% not at all concerned.

Impact of Cutting Public Sector

Aug 28, 2012

Q. The Liberal and National Parties have said they will cut between $50 billion and $70 billion from the Commonwealth public sector if they win the next election and the Treasurer Joe Hockey has said at least 12,000 jobs will be cut.

Do you think cutting at least 12,000 jobs from the Commonwealth public sector will result in better or worse service to the people of Australia?

 

Total

Vote

Labor

Vote

Lib/Nat

Vote

Greens

Total better service

14%

7%

25%

3%

Total worse service

53%

77%

31%

74%

Much better service

6%

1%

13%

1%

A little better service

8%

6%

12%

2%

Make no difference

23%

10%

37%

12%

A little worse service

19%

19%

19%

19%

Much worse service

34%

58%

12%

55%

Don’t know

10%

6%

8%

12%

53% thought that cutting 12,000 jobs from the Commonwealth public sector would result in worse service and 14% thought it result in better service. 23% thought it would make no difference.

Those mostly likely to think it would result in worse service were aged 18-24 (64%), Labor voters (77%), Greens voters (74%) and those on incomes under $600pw (62%). Only 31% of Liberal/National voters thought it would result in worse service.

Concern about Cutting Public Sector

Aug 28, 2012

Q. How concerned are you that at least 12,000 jobs might be cut from the Commonwealth public sector?

 

Total

Vote

Labor

Vote

Lib/Nat

Vote

Greens

Very concerned

23%

40%

9%

46%

Somewhat concerned

23%

30%

19%

23%

A little concerned

21%

13%

27%

14%

Not really concerned

26%

11%

42%

12%

Don’t know

7%

6%

4%

4%

46% were very or somewhat concerned that 12,000 jobs might be cut from the Commonwealth public sector.

Those most concerned were women (51% very/somewhat), aged 18-24 (61%), Labor voters (70%) and Greens voters (69%).

Public Sector Issues

Aug 28, 2012

Q. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

 

Total agree

Total disagree

Strongly agree

Agree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Don’t know

The Commonwealth public sector cannot take 12,000 job cuts and still maintain service quality

57%

28%

24%

33%

21%

7%

15%

Regardless of what they say before elections, Liberal Governments always cut public services.

52%

22%

20%

32%

19%

3%

26%

Many of the Commonwealth public sector functions should be outsourced to private companies

30%

48%

5%

25%

29%

19%

22%

Many of the Commonwealth public sector functions should be outsourced to charities and not for profit organisations

32%

42%

5%

27%

29%

13%

25%

Cutting the public service will most hurt regional and rural areas

57%

22%

22%

35%

17%

5%

21%

Cutting support and admin staff will affect the quality of service provided by frontline staff

60%

24%

24%

36%

20%

4%

15%

A majority of respondents agreed that – cutting support and admin staff will affect the quality of service provided by frontline staff (60%), cutting the public service will most hurt regional and rural areas (57%), the Commonwealth public sector cannot take 12,000 job cuts and still maintain service quality (57%) and regardless of what they say before elections, Liberal Governments always cut public services (52%).

They were more likely to oppose outsourcing public sector functions to private companies (48% disagree) or charities and not-for-profits (42%).

Liberal/National voters were evenly split over whether cutting the public service will most hurt regional and rural areas (42% agree/38% disagree) and cutting support and admin staff will affect the quality of service provided by frontline staff (43% agree/43% disagree).

Drip, Drip, Drip

Aug 27, 2012

Sometimes, the forest is hard to see when you get confused by the trees. And speaking of forests and trees: with the slashing of 120 Rural Fire Service jobs, the public sector has now taken a hit of more than 1200 regional workers—people who won’t have a decent paycheck or benefits or security.

As NSW Public Service Association General Secretary John Cahill points out, in a statement released by the union:

The NSW Government’s agenda of quick and deep public sector job cuts is tearing apart the fabric of our regional communities.Not even vital regional services like the Rural Fire Services, Office of Water and Crown Lands can escape the budget razor.

And here is something worth taking a peek at. The drip, drip, drip of job cuts imposed by Barry O’Farrell is, perhaps intentionally, not being rolled out at once. Rather, it’s a cut here, a cut there—not big enough for the public to see the big picture. And if you look even further down the list, you can see what still is yet to come: thousands more jobs on the chopping block.

Region Department or Service Number of job losses announced
Grafton Grafton jail 108
Gosford Workcover and NSW Industrial Relations office 101*[100 Workcover jobs
re-located from regional NSW to Sydney]
Newcastle NSW Industrial Relations office 6
Illawarra, Wollongong NSW Industrial Relations office 7
Illawarra Illawarra TAFE Up to 250
Coffs Harbour NSW Industrial Relations office 3
Orange NSW Industrial Relations office 1
Wagga NSW Industrial Relations office 2
Regional NSW
[location unknown]
67 [17 March, 50 June] Office of Water; 175 Crown Lands and up to 350 Office of Environment and Heritage; 26 Forests NSW 618


Projected public sector job losses in regional NSW over the next four years [location unspecified]
Source: confidential Treasury documents covered in media reports

 

Region Department or Service Number of jobs
Roads and Maritime Services Up to 400 total
Education Up to 2400
Dept of Family and Community Services 900
Health Department 3600
Jails and corrective services 881
Centre for Road Safety 400


Concern about Cutting Journalists

Jul 2, 2012

Q. Australia’s major newspaper publishers – News and Fairfax – recently announced substantial job cuts, including many journalists. How concerned are you that Australian newspapers are losing so many professional journalists?

 

Total

Vote ALP

Vote Lib

Vote Greens

Aged 18-34

Aged 35-54

Aged 55+

Read daily

Read a few times a week

Read about once a week

Read less often/

never

Very concerned

20%

26%

19%

23%

15%

21%

26%

34%

24%

14%

12%

Somewhat concerned

28%

28%

29%

34%

28%

29%

27%

34%

34%

24%

22%

A little concerned

29%

28%

29%

22%

31%

29%

26%

21%

25%

37%

32%

Not at all concerned

17%

16%

18%

16%

18%

16%

17%

9%

14%

21%

23%

Don’t know

6%

2%

5%

5%

7%

6%

4%

3%

3%

4%

12%

20% were very concerned and 28% somewhat concerned about job cuts to newspaper journalists.

68% of daily readers of newspapers were very/somewhat concerned.

Those most concerned were aged 55+ (53%) and respondents from Victoria (59%).

Qantas Dispute – Most to Blame

Oct 24, 2011

Q. Qantas and its workers are currently in dispute over pay, conditions and jobs. Who do you think is most to blame for this dispute – Qantas management or the workers?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Qantas management 36% 54% 25% 47%
Qantas workers 13% 6% 22% 4%
Both equally 37% 30% 41% 34%
Don’t know 14% 10% 12% 15%

36% believe that Qantas management is most to blame for the current dispute and 13% think the workers are most to blame – 37% think both are equally to blame.

All demographic and voter groups are more likely to think management is to blame than workers.

54% of Labor voters and 47% of Greens voters think management is most to blame while Liberal/National voters are more likely to think both are equally to blame (41%).

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