Essential Report’s latest poll offers bad news for Labor, with voters backing delaying or scrapping the NBN, and delaying a return to surplus, over a one-off levy.

The online survey was conducted last week before and after the Prime Minister announced a one-off levy to fund the $5.6 billion flood reconstruction effort.

When asked about the best way to fund the reconstruction effort, 28% nominated scrapping or delaying the NBN, including nearly half of Liberal or National voters. 24% preferred to delay the return to surplus – on which numbers were much more uniform across party lines. 22% supported a one-off levy, with support much stronger among Labor and Greens voters than among Liberals. 10% backed tax increases on mining profits.

On the use of the levy, there was much stronger support for rebuilding public infrastructure (92%) than for compensating people without insurance (35%) or businesses that lost income (26%), but there was majority support for compensating farmers for lost income (58%). The package announced by the Prime Minister relates entirely to replacing infrastructure.

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Apart from themselves (85%), voters rated emergency services best in their handling of the floods (88%), ahead of the military (78%) and the Queensland Government (78%). The Federal and Victorian Governments scored 48%, the NSW Government 33%, the Opposition 29%, the banks 22% and, at the bottom, the insurance industry was rated positively by 10%, and negatively by 53%. Even the media did well, scoring 61% from voters for their handling of the disaster.

On voting intention, there was no change from last week’s numbers: the Coalition leads Labor 51-49, with the Coalition on 45%, Labor on 37% and the Greens on 11%.

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