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Essential: the budget deficit is all Gillard’s fault

Support for federal Labor is collapsing, as voters sheet home the blame for the budget deficit to government mismanagement.

The Coalition has arrested recent gains in Labor’s vote, according to Essential Research’s weekly online poll, with Labor’s primary vote falling another two points to 31%. The Coalition jumps three points to claim 50% of the primary vote, shaking out to a two-point turnaround in the two-party preferred vote: 50-31%.

The economy still weighs heavily on voters’ minds. While most economists are comfortable with Australia’s debt levels and have urged the government not to return to surplus so quickly, voters seem to believe debt levels should never have blown out as much as they have.

Asked by Essential what was “most responsible for the deficit over the past few years”, most of the 1032 respondents said it was due to ”poor economic management” by the government, which has vowed to return the budget to surplus in 2012-13.

This question was last asked 12 months ago. Then, 23% of respondents blamed government mismanagement and 19% blamed the cost of the government’s GFC stimulus package. That dropped in the latest poll to just 12% blaming the GFC stimulus package as the largest reason for the budget deficit.

When broken up into voting intention, Coalition voters were more likely to blame bad economic management by the government (48%), while Labor voters said big companies not paying enough taxes (28%) and lower tax revenues (27%) were responsible.

Despite Julia Gillard’s promise to return the budget to surplus, only 23% supported putting the country back into the black if it meant cutting services and raising taxes. In comparison, the majority of voters — 66% — preferred a delay on returning the budget to surplus and instead maintaining services and an investment in infrastructure. Those most likely to support a return to surplus “came from respondents aged 25-44 (30%), Liberal/National voters (32%), full-time workers (32%) and those on income over $1600 per week (36%)”, said Essential.

Last week Opposition Leader Tony Abbott called for the Productivity Commission to investigate whether nannies should be included in the childcare rebate. That may be a vote winner, with 44% of Essential respondents strongly supportive of the idea. In contrast, 33% of respondents strongly opposed the concept of a nanny rebate and 22% had no opinion.

Not surprisingly, Liberal/National voters are more likely to support the plan (57%) and Labor and Greens voters more likely to oppose the plan (49% and 44% respectively).

When asked if government subsidies and benefits — such as childcare rebates and health insurance premiums — should be means tested, 37% of respondents said they should be, 25% said all should receive government subsidies regardless of income and 29% said they didn’t know. Labor voters were overwhelming more likely to support means testing — 82% — while Liberal/National supporters were more likely to not — 52%.

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  • 1
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Tuesday, 10 April 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    The deficit has nothing to do with the government. Why do the cretin pollsters ask such idiot questions.

  • 2
    Michael Lines
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Because the press want something to bash the Government with. It’s all part of their plan to get rid of them.

  • 3
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    @ Marilyn

    The deficit has everything to do with the Government, who wastes billions of our dollars and leaves us with a huge interest bill and debt repayments

  • 4
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    SB - Do a little bit of research and see how much the tax receipts have dropped since 2007 and then see how much of the current years deficit is a result of spending.

  • 5
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    @ Jimmy

    Do a little walking around talking to small business, medium business and consumer in electoral seats that matter and see how much this Government has killed off business and consumer confidence with its skittish policy, backflips, dishonesty, incompetence and arrogance.

  • 6
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    @ Jimmy

    The voters in NSW and Queensland have. Yes State issues but clouded over by Federal ones as well. Hence the reflective and consistent national polls.

  • 7
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    What a shock SB - you are unable to support your statement so you change the subject.

    I have already had the confidence discussion with you, consumer confidence the highest in the OECD, business confidence hovering around 50 with a lot of the fears being driven by factors outside the govt’s control, eurpoe, US, high dollar etc.

    Look for big improvements in both as the year progresses and the RBA cuts rates, the US continues to recover and the carbon tax scare campaign getss proven wrong.

  • 8
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    @ Jimmy

    You are like dishonest Gillard and incompetent Swan, you believe your own spin.

    They are sitting there, waiting for it all to turnaround suddenly

  • 9
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Where’s the dishonesty SB - I provided the sources for my confidence figures in our previous discussion, both very reputable but of course you didn’t believe them.

    And if you think international factors haven’t been dragging down confidence then you are even thikcer than I thought which is saying something.

    As for the future well it’s all a bit of an unknown but if the RBA cuts rates by 0.5% over the next 3-4 month as I and many economists expect confidence will go up. If the US contiunes to recover as it has been of the past 4-6 months confidence will go up. If Europe contiues to stabilise confidence will go up. When the carbon tax scare campaign is shown to be false confidence will go up.

    Have you done that research yet or are you willing to concede you were talking through your hat on the deficits.

  • 10
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Just to prove my honesty business confidence out yesterday from the NAB had it being plus 3 which is positive and up 2 points due to global improvements but below it’s long term average of plus 6.

    Westpac today had consumer confidence down to 94.5 from 96.1 (100 being neutral) so slightly negative but still high in OECD terms and down based on no interest rate cut from the RBA.

    Hence both my statements and my reasoning are correct.

  • 11
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    @ Jimmy

    Look at the DOW, it is at or almost at its pre GFC high. Now look at the ASX and you will see shattered confidence.

    If Australia did not go into recesssion, why the gap? No mining “boom” in the USA.

  • 12
    Hugh (Charlie) McColl
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    When commenting on a completely irrelevant opinion poll, eight out of ten comments were between two people trying to settle a domestic dispute not connected to the opinion poll. Or the world.
    And, “… both my statements and my reasoning are correct….”, so there.

  • 13
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    SB - You really don’t mind showing your ignorance do you. The DOW V ASX isn’t a measure of business confidence or how well the economy is going, it only measures where the financial guru’s think they can make money. And it definitely doesn’t measure recession.

    In the US interest rates are at 0% meaning investing in cash option like term deposits won’t get you a return, in Australia you can get 6%. This means the risk reward profiles are completely different.

    Another factor is the dollar, foregin investors aren’t going to buy Australian stocks ahead of US stocks when the dollar is above parity, especially when the dollar got to 1.08.

    Another factor is that US companies have a massive amount of cash reserves that they just aren’t investing, meaning the companies are relatively safe but they aren’t creating jobs and growing the economy.

    You really should admit you don’t have a tertiary degree in commmerce.

  • 14
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    @ Jimmy

    The stock markets are the best judge of confidence. It measures the price / earnings, growth capability and confidence of the furture potential. The $A has not been this high for that long, it was in the 90’s last year and infact commercial rates are in the high 90’s even today.

    Suggest you take a walk through your local shops and shopping centre and ask the store managers.

  • 15
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    SB - What is the long term average of the Australian dollar, about US0.75c. What was the value of the dollar in 2007 about US80c. AO even in the high 90s it is well above long term trends and 2007 values which makes share investment in Australia less attractive as you could take a bath on the currency movement.

    The stock markets are the best judge of confidence” What absolute rubbish!

    Hugh McColl - Didn’t realise our discussion was stopping you from making your valuable contribution on the poll. Oh wait what was your point, that’s it nothing.

  • 16
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    @ Jimmy

    The $A has been as low as 48c and as high as $1.20 over my working career.

    The ASX is low, considering the huge inflow of super each month, 9% of payroll.

  • 17
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Christ you are thick, it doesn’t matter what it has been over you working career the fact is it is currently at historically high levels which means that overseas investors have a higher risk when investing in Australian shares because if the and when the share price returns to more average levels they will lose. That is to say if the RBA cuts rates as expected and the dollar drops somewhere between0-5% that is another 0-5% the foreign investor has to make.

    Alternately all the money going into super in Australia can find better returns in the US because fund managers will bet on the dollar dropping and therefore increasing the return.

    Also as previously mentioned as interest rates are currently higher in Australia than elsewhere and you can get 6% risk free more money is being kept in cash rather than risked on the Australian share market.

    Have you chaecked the tax receipts yet?

  • 18
    Hugh (Charlie) McColl
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Another meaningless opinion poll and immediately a feisty domestic in the street. Get a room you guys and stop throwing things. “Christ you are thick”.

  • 19
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    @ Jimmy

    You are just in denial over your beloved ALP

  • 20
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Once agina SB when confronted with facts you accuse me of being in denial when it is you who clearly can’t or won’t understand.

    You have been show to be factually incorrect on every assertion you made here and have shown your lack of understanding of economics and financial markets yet again.

    Hugh McColl Thanks for yet another insightful post. 2 posts no point.

  • 21
    Hugh (Charlie) McColl
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    James,
    1. Get a room you guys,
    2. Stop throwing things,
    3. Christ you are thick.
    These foolish things remind me of you. Third time proves it.

  • 22
    Brady
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    You surprise me a bit Jimmy, why bother? Without being too nasty, there just is just no reasoning with certain defender’s from the right (normally, the very one’s who are hurt by their policies)

    If you look (and I’m sure your aware) through all of SB comments over the years, truly, it is just not worth the effort. To get into an argument with her is to give credibility to the insanity, which after much thought, is the only way I can view it. Forget facts, forget truth, the Liberal’s and their believers cannot afford to deal with such commodities. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a go at you, quite the opposite, do yourself a favour and drop her.

  • 23
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    @ Jimmy

    AUSTRALIAN consumers are at their gloomiest since August 2011, when a crisis gripped global financial markets, and economists today said this will help cement the case for a cut to interest rates in May, with more to follow later in the year.

    The Westpac-Melbourne index of consumer sentiment in Australia fell 1.6 per cent in April to 94.5, from a March reading of 96.1. The April reading, released today, is the lowest since August 2011 and among the weakest readings in the last decade.

    weakest readings in the last decade”

    Nothing to do with Europe, the recession we did not have, the $A, its almost wholle related to dishonest Gillard and her ‘team’.

    Look at the polls, last election results, commentary, you name it.

  • 24
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    SB - I quoted these figures to you way back at 2.42 and as you can see reason listed for the drop in the article is that the was no interest rate cut in April, no mention of the govt or it’s policies.

    In fact other than the lack of an interest rate cut the article does nto make metnion of any reason for the poor result so I am not sure how you can rule out the factors I have pointed to and make the conclusion you have.

    You alos left out “among” from the quote about the readings from the last decade and given the economic conditions globally in the first 5 years of the last decade this isn’t surprissing.

    It also doesn’t change the fact that Australian consumers are more confident than all other in the OECD.

    Again I will say that if the RBA cuts rates another couple of times in the next 3-4 months consumer confidence will bounce very quickly.

  • 25
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    @ Jimmy

    Australians are not coming off the low base of other OECD, cause we started the last 4 - 5 years with a surplus and good prospects.

    We are no Greece, Italy, UK, Spain, Ireland, US or many others in terms of a low start point. Why, cause 5 years ago we he economic managers, as opposed to today divided squabbling rabble.

  • 26
    lilac
    Posted Wednesday, 11 April 2012 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    @ Jimmy thanks for the posts they have been very informative and elucidative. Please continue to repudiate and expose SB for the fraud she/he/it is.
    @ Peter Ormonde hope you are well, haven’t seen any posts for a while, miss your valued input.

  • 27
    CML
    Posted Thursday, 12 April 2012 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    I am interested in the findings re nannies. Unbelievable! Unless those who want to employ nannies are hell-bent on exploiting them, I can’t see where “choice” comes in for ordinary workers. The vast majority of females in the workforce would earn less than $25/hour, so how is paying a nanny $20/hour (or similar) going to improve things for “working mothers”? Even if they received a subsidy of 50% ($10/hour), these women would still be working for peanuts.
    Just confirms my view that the women who will benefit from this rebate are those earning upwards of $50/hour. More middle class welfare.

    And Jimmy - I agree with BRADY. Trying to have a rational discussion with SB is a total waste of time. If you ignore her, she might just go away!

  • 28
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Thursday, 12 April 2012 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Lilac;
    I, too have been concerned about Peter Ormonde’s welfare and miss his insightful, humorous and humane dispatches and commentary. I do hope he and his are well and in good spirits. If not, best wishes Peter and many of us selfishly look forward to your return.

  • 29
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Thursday, 12 April 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    @ Mike Flanagan

    Yes Peter Ormonde has gone missing. I miss his humour as well. Perhaps he is travelling. Perhaps he got an invite to the North Korean missile launch today? Who knows, but I hope he is OK.

  • 30
    Stickey
    Posted Thursday, 12 April 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    When is sanity going to return to the development and actioning of policies? One large problem is Jo-Blo the ordinary person going to work every day is lead to think the government runs an overdraft account. Trying to maintain and expand infrastructure, including development of accommodation in towns and cities, is the role of government term debt financed by partial commercial participation and the issuing of bonds.

  • 31
    SWSJ
    Posted Thursday, 12 April 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    DOW vs ASX : there have been a few occasions where re-balancing the DOW (i.e. new index inclusions to account for deletions etc) might have provided for the inclusions of AAPL - had this happened the DOW would now be at record levels - end of story. Corporates ex financials in the US have more cash on balance sheet than at any time in the post war era - they just dont have enough to do with it! One could expect the DOW should be healthy based on that!

    Domestic economy : no two ways about it - the Labour party can only be charged with gross economic mismanagement. This starts with all the failed and bungled schemes and continues to this day with an attempt to balance the budget. It is all gross economic mismanagement. Swan is a fool - made to look smart by folk like Wong, Gillard et al. The electorate is smarter than labour gives them credit for and based on that is departing labour in droves.

    That backdrop leaves little room for sanity or sound politics from any opposition - all they have to do it sit by and watch and wait til it unfolds for them and labour is relegated to opposition for another ten or more years - which is right where they should be given their infighting, greed and incompetence…

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