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.

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Measures to Return to Surplus

Apr 10, 2012

Q. In order to meet their commitment to return to surplus in 2012-13, which measures should the Government take?

Total

11/4/11

Total 10/4/12

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Increase taxes for big corporations

63%

67%

81%

55%

80%

Reduce tax breaks for high income earners

51%

57%

65%

52%

71%

Postpone major infrastructure projects like the NBN

na

41%

29%

58%

19%

Reduce defence spending

32%

38%

42%

30%

64%

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

36%

36%

37%

38%

36%

Cut spending on unemployment and disability benefits

21%

23%

18%

32%

12%

It does not need to return to surplus so quickly

38%

63%

67%

66%

58%

Overall, the most favoured means of returning the budget to surplus were increasing taxes for big corporations (67%) and reducing tax breaks for high-income earners (57%). Both these measures were strongly favoured by Labor and Greens voters.

Although support was less strong, these two measures were also two of the three the most preferred among Liberal/National voters – 58% think the Government should postpone major infrastructure projects like the NBN.

The main changes since this question was asked 12 months ago are increases in support for reducing tax breaks for high-income earners (up 6%) and reducing defence spending (up 6%).

Note, although 63% thought that the budget does not need to return to surplus so quickly, some of these respondents also agreed with some of the measures listed.

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Opinion of Mining Tax

Mar 12, 2012

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the proposed mining tax (called the Minerals Resource Rent Tax) on large profits of mining companies?

 

12 Jul 2010

5 Sep 2011

21 Nov

20 Feb 2012

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Total approve

50%

46%

51%

55%

52%

76%

33%

79%

Total disapprove

28%

34%

33%

28%

34%

12%

55%

12%

Strongly approve

13%

18%

18%

23%

20%

36%

7%

51%

Approve

37%

28%

33%

32%

32%

40%

26%

28%

Disapprove

18%

18%

20%

17%

22%

9%

34%

10%

Strongly disapprove

10%

16%

13%

11%

12%

3%

21%

2%

Don’t know

22%

19%

15%

17%

14%

13%

12%

8%

52% approve the Government’s proposed mining tax and 34% disapprove. This represents a weakening in support over the last 3 weeks (from net +27% to net +18%) but a similar result to that of November 2011.

Labor voters (76%) and Greens voters (79%) strongly support the tax – but Liberal/National voters disapprove 55% to 33%.

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Opinion of Mining Tax

Feb 20, 2012

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the proposed mining tax (called the Minerals Resource Rent Tax) on large profits of mining companies?

12 Jul 2010 5 Sep 2011 21 Nov 2011 Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total approve 50% 46% 51% 55% 80% 39% 74%
Total disapprove 28% 34% 33% 28% 7% 46% 12%
Strongly approve 13% 18% 18% 23% 46% 7% 44%
Approve 37% 28% 33% 32% 34% 32% 30%
Disapprove 18% 18% 20% 17% 6% 26% 9%
Strongly disapprove 10% 16% 13% 11% 1% 20% 3%
Don’t know 22% 19% 15% 17% 13% 14% 14%

Approval for the proposed mining tax has increased over the course of the last 6 months, rising 9 percentage points from 46% in September 2011 to 55% total approval in this week’s poll.

Labor voters are the most in favour of the proposed mining tax, with 80% in favour, followed by Greens voters (74% in favour).  The majority of Coalition voters remain opposed to the proposed tax, with 46% opposed and 39% in favour.

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Tax reform

Oct 3, 2011

Q.  For each of the following proposals around tax reform, please indicate whether you strongly support, support, oppose or strongly oppose the suggestion.

Total Support Total Oppose Strongly support Support Oppose Strongly Oppose Don’t know
Decreasing income tax for low income earners 81% 11% 34% 47% 8% 3% 7%
Improving tax breaks for small-medium business 76% 10% 20% 56% 7% 3% 13%
Increasing the mining tax 47% 37% 16% 31% 22% 15% 16%
Abolishing negative gearing on new property purchases 33% 37% 8% 25% 20% 17% 29%
Cutting the company tax rate 32% 41% 6% 26% 29% 12% 28%
Repealing the fringe benefits tax 30% 28% 7% 23% 19% 9% 42%
Increasing the carbon tax 19% 68% 5% 14% 21% 47% 13%
Introducing an inheritance tax 10% 75% 3% 7% 24% 51% 15%
Increasing the goods and services tax (GST) 9% 84% 1% 8% 31% 53% 7%

Decreasing income tax for low income earners has the strongest support from respondents, with 81% either strongly supporting or supporting the suggestion.   Improving tax breaks for small-medium business also attracted a similar amount of endorsement (76% total support).

Increasing the mining tax has a significant amount of support (47% total support).

Whilst the proposed reforms of abolishing negative gearing on new property purchases and cutting the company tax rate attracted a significant amount of support, more respondents are opposed to these measures than in favour of them: with 37% opposed to abolishing negative gearing and 41% opposed to cutting the company tax rate.

Strongest opposition is registered against the proposal to increase the GST, with 84% opposed to the idea and only 9% in favour of it.  Introducing an inheritance tax is similarly unpopular (75% total opposed).

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Tax reform by Voting Intention

Oct 3, 2011

Q.  For each of the following proposals around tax reform, please indicate whether you strongly support, support, oppose or strongly oppose the suggestion.

Total Support Total Support – Labor Total Support – Lib/Nat Total Support – Greens
Decreasing income tax for low income earners 81% 85% 81% 81%
Improving tax breaks for small-medium business 76% 74% 85% 71%
Increasing the mining tax 47% 67% 35% 72%
Abolishing negative gearing on new property purchases 33% 37% 33% 38%
Cutting the company tax rate 32% 24% 43% 25%
Repealing the fringe benefits tax 30% 25% 40% 22%
Increasing the carbon tax 19% 29% 8% 60%
Introducing an inheritance tax 10% 14% 10% 18%
Increasing the goods and services tax (GST) 9% 7% 12% 12%

Labor voters are far more likely to support increasing the mining tax (47% total support) and increasing the carbon tax (29% total support).

Coalition voters are more likely to support improving tax breaks for small-medium business (85% total support), cutting the company tax rate (43% total support), repealing the fringe benefits tax (40% total support) and increasing the GST (12% total support).

Greens voters are the most likely to support increasing the mining tax (72%) and by far the most likely to support increasing the carbon tax (60% total support).  They are also more likely to support introducing an inheritance tax (18% total support) and increasing the GST (12% total support).

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Opposition Leader’s proposal on Carbon Tax

Aug 29, 2011

Q. Do you think the Opposition Leader’s proposal to ditch the carbon tax but keep the personal tax cuts will –

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Help Australia’s economy 44% 19% 73% 11%
Hurt Australia’s economy 30% 58% 8% 67%
Don’t know 26% 24% 19% 22%

44% think Tony Abbott’s proposal to ditch the carbon tax but keep the tax cuts will help Australia’s economy and 30% think it will hurt the economy. Opinions were closely associated with voting intention – 73% of Liberal/National voters think it will help the economy while 58% of Labor voters and 67% of Greens voters think it will hurt the economy.

Those on higher incomes are more likely to think it will help the economy – 50% of those on $1,600+pw compared to only 39% of those earning less than $1,000pw.

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Government Actions on Economy

Aug 29, 2011

Q. If the Australian economy weakens and unemployment goes up would you approve or disapprove of the Government taking the following actions?

Total approve Total disapprove Strongly approve Approve Disapprove Strongly disapprove Don’t know
Reduce interest rates 79% 11% 32% 47% 8% 3% 11%$
Cut taxes for both individuals and businesses 61% 25% 16% 45% 21% 4% 14%
Cut taxes on low and middle income earners to help with cost of living while offsetting the revenue loss with a carbon tax on the 500 big polluters 61% 27% 26% 35% 15% 12% 12%
Introduce a mining tax on the big miners and use the money for govt. investment in infrastructure and social spending to stimulate the economy 58% 26% 24% 34% 16% 10% 16%
Cut taxes on lower and middle income earners to help with cost of living with no offsetting carbon tax on the 500 big polluters 51% 33% 15% 36% 24% 9% 16%
Cut taxes and cut Government investment in infrastructure and social spending 39% 43% 12% 27% 30% 13% 18%

Actions most approved were reduce interest rates (79% approve), cut taxes for both individuals and businesses (61%) and cut taxes on low and middle income earners to help with cost of living while offsetting the revenue loss with a carbon tax on the 500 big polluters (61%).

Cutting taxes while offsetting the revenue loss with a carbon tax was more popular than not offsetting the tax cuts with a carbon tax (61% to 51%).

The only action not approved by a majority was cutting taxes and investment in infrastructure and social spending (39% approve/43% disapprove). This was approved by 48% of Liberal/National voters but only 33% of Labor voters and 27% of Greens voters.

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