Economic Reforms

Jun 4, 2012

Q. Thinking about the major economic reform in Australia since the 1980s like floating the dollar, removing tariffs and privatisation of Government services like Telstra and utilities, who do you think has benefited most – ordinary Australians through higher incomes and more growth and jobs, or corporations through higher profits and less regulation?

 

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Ordinary Australians

5%

8%

4%

6%

Corporations

54%

51%

55%

62%

Both equally

20%

19%

25%

16%

Don’t know

21%

22%

17%

16%

54% thought that corporations have benefited most from Australia’s major economic reforms – only 5% think ordinary Australians have benefited most and 20% thought both had benefited equally.

Those most likely to think corporations had benefited most were Greens voters (62%), aged 55+ (60%) and those on incomes under $600pw (61%).

Opinion of Government Decisions

Oct 24, 2011

Q. Thinking about some of the major decisions the Federal Government has made over recent years, do you think the following decisions have been good for Australia or bad for Australia?

Total good Total Bad Very good Good Neither good nor bad Bad Very bad Don’t know
Introducing the GST 39% 30% 10% 29% 24% 17% 13% 7%
Privatising Qantas 23% 44% 4% 19% 20% 31% 13% 13%
Privatising Telstra 20% 53% 4% 16% 16% 32% 21% 10%
Privatising the Commonwealth Bank 26% 42% 7% 19% 19% 25% 17% 13%
Floating the dollar 46% 11% 13% 33% 22% 7% 4% 21%
Free trade agreements 41% 21% 11% 30% 21% 13% 8% 18%
Compulsory superannuation 79% 7% 42% 37% 10% 4% 3% 5%
Medibank (now Medicare) 76% 6% 38% 38% 12% 4% 2% 6%

Only the Government decisions to introduce compulsory superannuation (79%) and Medibank (76%) were considered good for Australia by a majority of respondents – although opinions of floating the dollar (46% good/11% bad), free trade agreements (41%/21%) and the GST (39%/30%) were more likely to be positive than negative.

The decisions to privatize three major national enterprises were more likely to be considered bad. Although Labor voters were more negative about privatisations, Liberal/National voters were also more likely to describe them bad for Australia – Qantas 47% bad/34% good, Telstra 49%/29% and Commonwealth Bank 38%/36%.

47% of Labor voters thought the introduction of the GST was bad while 50% of Liberal/National voters thought it was good.

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Reversing Past Government Decisions

Oct 24, 2011

Q. Would you support or oppose the Federal Government taking any of the following decisions

Total support Total oppose Strongly support Support Oppose Strongly oppose Don’t know
Abolishing the GST 35% 43% 14% 21% 24% 19% 21%
Buying back Qantas 43% 34% 13% 30% 23% 11% 22%
Buying back Telstra 47% 33% 16% 31% 22% 11% 20%
Buying back the Commonwealth Bank 41% 36% 13% 28% 24% 12% 23%
Regulating the dollar 32% 36% 10% 22% 22% 14% 32%
Increasing trade protection 59% 20% 20% 39% 13% 7% 21%
Making superannuation voluntary 24% 64% 9% 15% 26% 38% 13%
Privatising Medicare 11% 74% 4% 7% 26% 48% 17%

When asked whether these decisions should be reversed, 59% supported increasing trade protection and 47% supported buying back Telstra. There was very strong opposition to privatizing Medicare (74%) and making superannuation voluntary (64%). No other issues had clear majority support or opposition.

Liberal/National voters supported buying back Telstra (47% to 39%), were split on Qantas (43%/41%), but opposed buying back the Commonwealth Bank (39%/44%).

Although Coalition voters were more likely to think free trade agreements were good for Australia (41%/25%), they were also more likely than Labor voters to support increasing trade protection (64%/19%) – 59% of Labor voters supported more trade protection and 21% opposed.

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