Budget 2006
These are the notes used for our interview this morning with Madonna King and the ABC Radio Brisbane Morning Program. I'll do the analysis up more formally later. My read on the total sample is that many of our respondents feel personally squeezed by rising costs including petrol and interest rates (the last must be anticipatory) and don't think that the tax cuts allow them to do much more than catch-up, although most of them rate it as good for them personally and bad for the country. Explains why the government hasn’t gotten much of a bounce from the budget. Our sample is also more concerned with Health and Education than they are with tax cuts. Interestingly, payments to stay-at-home and working mums are not a high priority, nor looking after the elderly. Will the older and middle to lower demographics stay bought? BTW, Julia Gillard is the runaway winner for ALP leader, followed by Rudd, Keating and Beazley. Shorten on a bit less than 5% proves you need more than a walk-on part in a mining disaster to grab the public imagination. On the other side of the ledger Malcolm Turnbull is the second runner after Howard, not Costello. Even amongst online Liberal voters Costello is only just ahead, but the Labor, Greens and Democrats overwhelm him in favour of Turnbull over the whole sample.
  1. Sample heavily left-leaning. 31% ALP, 27% Greens, 15% Liberal, 5% National. Older than average demographic, with highest proportion (31%) between 51 and 60 years of age. Males outnumbered females almost two-to one in the plus 51 age group, and by 60% to 40% overall.
  2. Most believe that the country is heading in the wrong direction. This aligns with voting intention. 21% think we’re heading in the right direction, compared to 70% who think the reverse.
  3. Only 25% approved of the budget, versus 58% who disapproved. However, 89% of Liberals and 88% of Nationals approved. A balanced sample would have shown a majority in support.
  4. However 37% said that they would be better off because of the budget. So 12% benefited but altruistically thought it was a bad budget.
  5. Only 24% thought it would be good for the economy. Again, Liberals 81% of Liberals thought it would be good, as well as 88% of Nationals. A balanced sample would therefore think it was good for the economy.
  6. When it came to alternatives, most favoured either tax cuts, or increased spending on health and education. Because of the bias in the sample, this was distorted. Making allowance for the bias, tax cuts and services were probably pretty evenly matched.
  7. Incentives to working or non-working spouses or to older Australians were not well-supported. Infrastructure also rated very well with a less intense feeling in favour of it than services.
  8. 71% disapproved of Howard’s performance, but 58% disapproved of Beazley’s as well. However, 91% of Coalition voters approve, so sample bias at play again.
  9. 35% want Julia Gillard as leader, compared to 20% for Kevin Rudd, 15% for Paul Keating and 10% for Kim Beazley. None of the above is only 12%
  10. 172% and 75% of Coalition voters want Howard as leader, but only 19% of the total sample. Malcolm Turnbull tops the total sample at 20%, followed by Howard, then Costello. Abbott and Downer both get 1% each.
  11. When it comes to household budgets there are a few obvious factors:
  12. Many households find themselves under price-pressure from petrol, interest rates and food prices (no-one much mentions rent). They find the tax deductions derisory.
  13. Some households are earning lots of money and traveling well - they thought that tax cuts were great.
  14. Because they can’t see that they can earn enough after tax to pay for their needs, they would prefer the government to pay them for them.
  15. Word counts and quotes on the household budget issue provide quantitative support for the issues being caused by higher petrol and money prices with petrol being by far the larger issue.
Petrol 116
Fuel 243
Oil 5
Inflation 41
Interest 122
Rates 99
Rent 42

Student 41
Pension 271
Retiree 66

"The tax cuts will help to ease the squeeze so to speak.  I have grandchildren so the extra child care will be good for us all and there are incentives for my daughter to go back to work when her son starts full time school. I am looking at the more longer term benefits of the budget rather than the what's in it for me right now view. there will still be a surplus for the next several yeras and I think that is responsible and the right way to go." Liberal, Male, 41-50

"I'm just not sure. As much as I am in a bracket that gets a 'saving' on how much tax I pay each fortnight, I don't see that as improving my financial position - in terms of short term - home mortgages have just increased (more so than the tax saving) - and in long term, I don't think that an improvement in my own financial position is a good thing in the big picture of the country's health, for eg. I would prefer the $9-10 per pay packet to go directly to medicare and the public hospital system." Greens, female, 31-40

"Rising prices at every level of living then a slight tax benefit!!!! You have to be joking. After the GST the goverment have been completely rolling in money yet they are tighter than ever & services are lacking more & more funding." Greens, Male, 18-30

"No tax on super is a bit late for me as a self funded retiree for the last 9 years and being taxed on my benefit. I also do not have access to a health card for pharmaceuticals as I am means tested out of elegibility" Greens, Male, 61+

"With the increase in fuel costs that have already happened up around 21 cents per litre and interest rates up .25% costing an extra $10 per week the tax cuts have already been spent." Greens, Male, 41-50

"I am a mature aged woman in the middle income range who works part-time to finance studies that will hopefully lend me enough credibillity to take on consultancy work.  I support my daughter and son-in-law one is a student and the other an adult apprentice, my husband is a TPI pensioner.  I can't live on what the governemtn would pay me to be a carer for my husband or to be a student we have manged in the past and I will continue to manage in the future.  The minute amount of money I may be entitled to in the buget will probably be eaten up in fuel costs." Greens, Female, 51-60

Those who say their personal position is significantly improved appear to live in high income households or be on the verge of retirement.
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0 #31 CommentSandra Taylor 2006-05-20 22:04
I am a disabled person, runs a voluntary, psychosocial, rehab, recovery, group. set up by the mentally unwell people who are ( those with extremely difficult to treat illness), To give them the place to belong, and a place to learn new skills etc.
I sit on many committees, by request, for my expertise in life and the battling pensioners, who for no fault of their own, truly cannot work in the general paid work enviroment, the fast track etc.
I have 13 grandchildren, and 4 of my own children( all married).
I do my hard , but loved work to make a difference in some way, to enable a better future for my family.
Having a job to go to when they leave school. having braces on their teeth, having access to bulk billing doctors a good hospital, where they will have a bed when the need arises.
Dental work done etc.
I have waited 6 years for a dental visit, beurocracy and red tape says I have to stay with out teeth for another year or so, cos they have no time.
I facilitate meetings and workshops educating the community, get asked by the health service to sit on their committees etc, yet here I am , doing all this voluntary, and with no teeth.
Surely government, must allow all in Australia the same rights, to equally good health services and education.
Surely they must see that pushing aged and disabled to despair, re working, is going to also put young people and those already unemployed, in worse position.
We should have the right to work if we wish, as a disabled person, and or an aged or retired person, but not bullied and cohersed into doing something they cannot or don,t any longer wish to work.
Its putting so much pressure, I can assure you, suicide is and will continue to plague our families.
This Government, the wealthy, TAKE A LOOK , SEE Around you.SHARE your wealth, stop telling us all how much profit you made, each year, stop wanting to shout it out, its killing many people, pushing families over the edge, our people are living under the poverty line, homeless, cannot afford good health food at times, yet govt push to eat healthy , PEOPLE LOOK AROUND, open eyes, LISTEN.
People are crashing.
Depression, heart attacks, strokes, caused by STRESS.
Awareness raising, prevention, yes the TREND.
But ATTENTION TO, helping families in Australia to SURVIVE, let alone LIVE.
NOt even asking to live COMFORTABLY, JUST TO SURVIVE.and hopefully be able to smile without
bursting into tears, tears of despair, and opression.Frust ration, at where our country and its academics are pushing us into.