Australians are opposed to any lowering of the GST threshold for goods purchased online from overseas providers, new polling from Essential Research shows, and they strongly disapprove of lifting the pension age.

Lowering the $1000 GST threshold on imported goods is opposed by 53% of voters, with 35% supporting it. Voters aged 35-54 are particularly hostile, at 57% opposition, while Coalition voters are least opposed, 47% to 43%. And 70% of voters, aptly, oppose lifting the pension age to 70 years, although opposition is strongest among over-55s, a large proportion of whom are already retired. While Labor and Coalition voters are indistinguishable on the issue, Greens voters are the least opposed, with 29% backing it and 58% opposed. Women are also much more opposed than men, 76% to 64%. Just over 40% of voters don’t expect to retire until they are 65 or older, and only 27% — including those currently on the pension — expect to rely on the pension as their main source of income.

One voting intention, now adjusted to reflect 2013 election preference flows, the Coalition is on 44% (down a point); Labor remains on 36%, the Greens are on 8% (down one) and the Palmer United Party is on 4%, for a two-party preferred result of 52-48%, compared to 53-47% last week.

Essential also asked about how people consume television and movie content, with 37% of people saying they watch downloaded material at least once a week, including 11% who watch downloaded content every day or most days. Only 33% of people say they never watch downloaded content, including 53% of people aged over 55.

Most watch content on TVs — 63% — but 49% also or only watch on PC or laptops and 12% watch on mobile devices; 57% of people under 34 watch on laptops or PCs and 16% watch on mobile devices. 46% watch downloaded content alone, and 61% say they use social media while watching content, including 32% who say they “often” use social media while watching. But women are more likely to use social media while watching than men, 67% compared to 55%, and 78% of 18- to 34-year-olds do so.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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