Spending by a Liberal Government

Apr 22, 2013

Q. If the Liberal Party won Government at the next election, do you think they would increase or decrease spending on the following areas or spend about the same as the Labor Government?

 

Increase spending

Decrease spending

Spend about the same

Don’t know

Public schools

22%

30%

33%

15%

Private schools

28%

27%

28%

16%

Universities

18%

29%

36%

16%

Support for manufacturing industries

26%

23%

32%

19%

Pensions

19%

32%

36%

14%

Welfare support

12%

45%

28%

14%

Health and hospitals

33%

27%

25%

14%

The environment

11%

39%

34%

16%

Defence

31%

19%

34%

16%

Foreign aid

8%

41%

33%

18%

Public transport

23%

26%

35%

16%

Roads

26%

22%

36%

16%

Border security

44%

14%

28%

14%

The arts

7%

40%

32%

21%

Subsidies for business

34%

20%

28%

18%

Overall, respondents were more likely to think a Liberal Government would reduce spending on welfare support, the arts, the environment, foreign aid, pensions, public schools and universities. They were more likely to think they would increase spending on  border security, defence and subsidies for business.

Liberal voters thought a Liberal Government would be more likely to increase than decrease spending on public schools, manufacturing industries, pensions, public transport, health and hospitals, defence, roads, border security and subsidies for business.

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%).

Asylum Seeker Debate

Jul 9, 2012

Q. Do you think the current debate over handling of asylum seekers shows that Australian politicians are genuinely concerned about the welfare of asylum seekers or are they just playing politics over the issue?

 

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Genuinely concerned bout asylum seekers

11%

16%

13%

7%

Just playing politics

78%

74%

81%

85%

Don’t know

11%

10%

6%

8%

Only 11% think that Australian politicians are genuinely concerned about the welfare of asylum seekers and 78% think they are just playing politics over the issue.

There were no substantial differences across demographic groups.

Interests Represented by Parties

May 30, 2011

Q. Which political party do you think best represents the interests of –

Labor Liberal Greens Don’t know
Families with young children 34% 31% 5% 29%
Students 30% 28% 10% 33%
Working people on average incomes 40% 32% 5% 23%
Working people on low incomes 43% 27% 6% 24%
Working people on high incomes 13% 63% 2% 22%
People on welfare 38% 23% 8% 30%
Pensioners 33% 28% 5% 34%
Small businesses and self-employed 20% 47% 4% 29%
Big business 13% 62% 2% 23%
The next generation of Australians 19% 31% 17% 33%
Indigenous people 23% 21% 16% 40%
Ethnic communities 22% 21% 15% 42%
Rural and regional Australians 18% 34% 11% 36%

The Labor Party is considered the party which best represents the interests of working people on low and average incomes, people on welfare and pensioners. The Liberal Party is considered best at representing the interests of people on high incomes, big business, small business and self-employed, rural and regional Australians and the next generation. The Greens’ main strengths are in representing the next generation, indigenous people and ethnic communities.

There was little difference between the major parties in terms of representing the interests of families with young children, students, indigenous people and ethnic communities.

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Family Payments

May 23, 2011

Q. The Federal Budget has frozen the income levels above which parents become ineligible for family payments. Do you approve or disapprove of this decision?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total approve 52% 65% 47% 56%
Total disapprove 28% 18% 38% 22%
Strongly approve 17% 25% 12% 24%
Approve 35% 40% 35% 32%
Disapprove 20% 13% 25% 19%
Strongly disapprove 8% 5% 13% 3%
Don’t know 20% 17% 14% 22%

52% of respondents approve of freezing the income levels above which parents become ineligible for family payments and 28% oppose.

65% Labor and 56% of Greens voters approve – and Liberal/National voters are more likely to approve than disapprove (47%/38%).

Respondents with dependent children approve 47%/37% and households earning over $150,000 approve 48%/37%.

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Perceptions of Welfare

May 23, 2011

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

Total agree Total disagree Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know
Households earning more than $150,000 a year don’t need help through family payments 67% 27% 29% 38% 20% 7% 6%
Households on high incomes pay high taxes so should get family payments for bringing up children 33% 61% 7% 26% 41% 20% 7%
Welfare payments should only go to those on low incomes 66% 29% 23% 43% 23% 6% 5%
All taxpayers, regardless of their income, should be eligible for some form of Government payment 35% 57% 8% 27% 36% 21% 8%
Family payments aren’t really welfare – they just provide assistance for families raising children. 60% 32% 14% 46% 23% 9% 7%
Welfare payments should be reduced for those who have been on them long term. 41% 48% 15% 26% 33% 15% 12%
Welfare and family payments should be lower to encourage people to be more self-reliant and not rely so much on the Government 40% 50% 12% 28% 35% 15% 9%
People on low incomes receiving welfare should have to justify how they spend it 47% 46% 13% 34% 31% 15% 6%
Welfare for low-income families is different from family payments to middle-income families 61% 22% 14% 47% 18% 4% 17%
The purpose of welfare payments is to reduce the difference in income between people with higher incomes and those with lower incomes 40% 49% 8% 32% 36% 13% 11%

About two-thirds of respondents agreed that “Households earning more than $150,000 a year don’t need help through family payments” (67%) and “Welfare payments should only go to those on low incomes” (66%).  Although these statements were more strongly supported by Labor and Greens voters, 61% of Liberal/National voters agree that “Households earning more than $150,000 a year don’t need help through family payments”.

For households earning under $100K, 77% agree “Households earning more than $150,000 a year don’t need help through family payments” and 73% agree “Welfare payments should only go to those on low incomes”.

However, of households earning $150K+, 62% disagree that “Households earning more than $150,000 a year don’t need help through family payments” and 50% disagree that “Welfare payments should only go to those on low incomes”.

Although most respondents (60%) think that family payments are different from welfare benefits, only 33% agree that “Households on high incomes pay high taxes so should get family payments for bringing up children”.

Opinions are divided over issues regarding the obligations of people receiving welfare. 47% agree that “People on low incomes receiving welfare should have to justify how they spend it” and 46% disagree – 58% of Liberal/National voters agree but 55% of Labor voters disagree.

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Tony Abbott’s Welfare Proposal

Apr 11, 2011

Q. Tony Abbott has proposed changes to Australia’s welfare system – including cutting back the pension for people whose disabilities can be treated, suspending the dole for young people in areas where job vacancies have not been filled and making work-for-the-dole mandatory for those under 50 receiving unemployment benefits for more than six months.

Do you think Tony Abbott’s proposal will significantly reduce unemployment in Australia or will it just make things more difficult for the unemployed and people on disability benefits?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Will reduce unemployment 36% 18% 61% 20%
Will just make things difficult for the unemployed and people on disability benefits 47% 67% 24% 74%
Don’t know 17% 15% 16% 6%

36% believe that Tony Abbott’s changes to the welfare system will reduce unemployment and 47% think they will just make things difficult for the unemployed and people on disability benefits.

The only groups more likely to think it would reduce unemployment were Liberal/National voters (61%/21%), full-time workers (43%/39%)and those on income over $1,600 pw (48%/36%). 59% of those on incomes under $1,000 pw agreed that it will just make things difficult for the unemployed and people on disability benefits.

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Party Trust to Handle Benefits/pensions

Apr 11, 2011

Q. Which party would you trust more to handle welfare issues like unemployment benefits and disability pensions?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Labor Party 34% 75% 6% 53%
Liberal Party 31% 4% 66% 8%
No difference 25% 16% 21% 26%
Don’t know 10% 55 6% 13%

34% trust the Labor Party more to handle welfare issues and 31% trust the Liberal Party more. 25% think there is no difference.

The Liberal Party is trusted more by people earning $1,600+ pw (40% to 29%) while those on incomes under $1,000 pw favor the Labor Party 39% to 22%.

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