THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S BUDGET DOES NOT “SHARE THE BURDEN EQUALLY”: IPSOS I-VIEW OMNIBUS SURVEY

-Six in 10 Australians dissatisfied with Prime Minister-

A significant majority of Australians believe that the Federal Government’s recent Budget does not share the financial burden equally across the community, according to a new Ipsos I-view Omnibus survey.

In response to the question: ‘Do you believe that all Australians will share the burden of the Budget equally?’, 70% of respondents said that they did not believe the burden would be shared equally. Only 19% said it would be shared equally, and the remaining 11% of respondents said they were unsure.

Ipsos Public Affairs Director David Elliott said: “A clear majority, more than seven in 10 of our survey respondents, continue to believe that the financial burden of the Budget is not being shared fairly and equally across the nation.

“This perception of a lack of fairness in how the Budget measures will impact different sectors in the community is felt most strongly by older people, with 75% of those aged 50+ believing the Budget’s financial effects are not being shared equally.”

In other reactions to the Budget, more than half of Australians (58%) believe that in three years’ time the Budget measures announced by Treasurer Joe Hockey will leave the nation’s economy either the same, or in a worse position than it is now, with only 25% believing the Budget will leave the economy in a better position.

“This is a potential problem for Treasurer Hockey and Prime Minister Abbott in their attempts to sell their ‘fix the debt and deficit’ message to a seemingly sceptical Australian public, as most respondents to our survey do not think that this Budget will improve the nation’s economic outlook over time,” Elliott said.

“The negativity regarding the nation’s future economic outlook is not overly surprising.  In our April Ipsos Issues Monitor, we saw that Australians’ concerns about ‘The Economy’ had doubled over the past 12 months.  As such it was rated by four in ten (41%) Australians as the most important issue nationally.

“At the same time, national anxiety about ‘Unemployment’ had also risen to 26% from 19% 12 months ago, with it now sitting in fifth position in terms of the most important issues facing the nation.  Given the negativity surrounding the Budget it will be interesting to see whether concern over the economy and unemployment continues to grow.”

An overwhelming majority of respondents (82%) also believe that the cost of living will go up as a result of the Budget. Only 8% of respondents said that the Budget will have no effect on the cost of living, and only 3% said that the cost of living will go down.

Most Australians (66%) believe that the specific measures affecting young people – for example, the increase in university fees and the six month delay in being able to receive Centrelink payments – will impact negatively on their ability to get into the workforce.  Only 15% said that the Budget measures will have a positive impact, and 12% believe they will have no impact at all.

A strong majority (69%) of respondents also believe that the Budget measures are out of line with what was promised by the Coalition prior to the September 2013 Election.

The Prime Minister’s personal satisfaction rating has also taken a hit, with 66% of Australians now either ‘somewhat dissatisfied,’ or ‘very dissatisfied’ with Mr Abbott’s performance. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten now has a significant lead over Tony Abbott as ‘Preferred Prime Minister,’ with Mr Shorten ahead by a margin of 8% (37% compared to 29%) with the remaining 34% of respondents undecided.

A total of 1,089 people were surveyed from 21st to 25th May, 2014 in the Ipsos I-view Omnibus survey, with the results weighted to the total Australian general population by age, gender, location and education.