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Day to Day Politics: Pre-budget Polls.

Wednesday 10 May 2017

1 Whilst you are all, this morning, foraging through details of the budget looking for any benefit you might have gained, or indeed lost, it is important not to lose sight of the other things happening around us.

For example, yesterday’s Guardian/Essential Poll reveals Labor charging further ahead of the Coalition: 54/46 TPP. This has now opened the gap to 8 percentage points.

The polling took place after the Government revealed its plans for higher education.

56% disapproved of the proposal to reduce university funding by $2.8 billion, and only 28% approved. Those most likely to disapprove were Greens voters (80% disapprove), ALP voters (69%) and those with a university degree (65%). Those most likely to approve were Liberal/National voters (45% approve) those aged 65+ (40%) and males (34%).

60% disapproved of the proposal to increase student fees, and only 30% approved. Those most likely to disapprove were Greens voters (84% disapprove), ALP voters (73%) and those aged 18-24 (71%). Those most likely to approve were Liberal/National voters (51% approve) and those aged 65+ (46%).

47% approved of the proposal to require students to repay their loan earlier, and 44% disapproved. Those most likely to approve were those aged 65+ (68% approve), Liberal/National voters (67%) and other party/independent voters (57%). Those most likely to disapprove were Greens voters (68% disapprove) and those aged 18-24 (59%).

It could well be that the rot has really and truly set in and no matter what a party does nothing will move the vote.

Good article by Laurie Oakes on Saturday saying the catholic school funding issue was mishandled. Could cancel any boost in the polls related to the budget.

On the question How important is it that the Government returns the budget to surplus? 

71% thought that returning the budget to surplus was important. Those most likely to think this were Liberal/National voters (87% important), those earning over $104,000 (78%) and those working full-time (76%).

19% thought that returning the budget to surplus was not important. Those most likely to think this were Greens voters (43% not important) and ALP voters (28%).

Herein lies the problem for the Coalition. There is some justification for good and bad debt but their base has always been opposed to debt per se.

2 So did the budget find the $6 billion necessary to fund the NDIS and what suffered for it to do?

3 Philip Coorey wrote in the AFR that the Australian Government’s May 2017 Budget is tipped to forecast a surplus in 2020-21. However, ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service has doubts regarding the Government’s ability to meet this target, as well as the economic growth forecasts in the Budget. Marie Diron of Moody’s says the firm will consider all aspects of the Government’s Budget consolidation policy over the next five years. She adds that the Australian economy’s trend growth is unlikely to be any higher than 2.75 per cent.

And the answer is?

4 Not a bad idea. Demerit system for welfare recipients. Lose 20 points for every missed interview. Start out with 100 points a year. So can only afford to miss 5 interviews a year?

5 The Labor advert featured no Australians from ethnic background. Accidental or deliberate? Either way not acceptable. Shorten has to take responsibility.

Albanese was certainly giving him a warning.

6 Do we need a publicly funded national newspaper? “No” would be my answer.

7 Did today’s budget focus on spending? We are leaving a substantial debt to future generations. What has the government done about it? More tomorrow.

8 Gone very quiet. Aboriginal recognition referendum. And I might add the parliamentary enquiry into expenses.

9 Shorten said foreign aid is the best form of national security.

10 A pre-budget prediction. The Medicare levy will be increased.

Now I can get onto the budget.

My thought for the day.

“Are you really doing what is important. What you believe in, or have you just adjusted to what you are doing”.


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  1. Max Gross

    It’s official: large yellow stars sewn onto clothing MUST be worn by all jobseekers.

  2. Terry2

    Thoughts on the Budget :

    The budget was an election budget – Turnbull cannot survive with only a one seat majority – but we still have two years to go after the disastrous snap election in 2016 so in that sense it’s a bit baffling UNLESS they are going to take a leaf out of Theresa May’s book and call another snap election ???.

    The budget was also clearly aimed at neutering the Abbott camp and we have yet to see how Abbott responds : mad as a cut snake comes to mind.

    Cormann was asked how the increase in tax on the big four banks fits into the coalition commitment to reduce corporate tax from 30% to 25%. He confirmed that the coalition was still committed to that tax reduction, including to the banks. How does that work ?

    The inland rail project from Melbourne to Brisbane hasn’t yet had a cost – benefit analysis done and there is already a negative reaction from the trucking industry : could be interesting.

  3. corvus boreus

    Also very quiet; the (very) select committee to examine the theoretical possibility of maybe one day thinking about establishing a National Integrity Commission (federal anti-corruption body).
    Once again, the committee has been engineered to exclude participation by Greens members, which is highly suspicious since the 10%ers are the main (ie only) political party calling for such an anti-corruption body to be established.
    It is a political truism that the best way to bury an inconvenient proposal is to refer the matter to the ‘right kind’ of committee.

  4. Keith

    Young people are the future of a country … they have been hit hard through lack of tackling the cost of housing, and increasing University fees. Also, reducing the minimum salary for HECs being repaid. Negative gearing will not be touched in a meaningful way as many politicians own investment properties. A number of older polies would have benefited from not having had to pay HECs when obtaining their degrees.

    Climate change has been ignored.

    One good feature is that the mongrel; so called zombie pieces of budget going back to 2013 have been dropped.

    The view that the budget would be in surplus by the early ’20s led to much skepticism from commentators generally.

    John’s article about modern economic thought provides insight into the problems of neo liberal economic views.

  5. Freetasman

    I would like to see how cheap people will sell their intention of voting in the next couple of polls.
    The thing that can works against the Coalition in this budget is the increase of the medicare and other taxes which affect the back pocket.
    Also I hope that the university students will weak up and start be more active in defending their interests. Will see.

  6. Florence nee Fedup

    A snap election after a DD returning PM with narrow margin is essential. One could call it a desperation budget. PM is impotent unless he can turn poll numbers around.

    Menzies found himself in similar straits but was able to regain popularity. Called one chamber election, increasing his margin.

    Seems to be saying he has no choices left. Blaming senate. Therefore when it fails, will be the fault of Labor.

  7. helvityni

    Young people are the future of a country …?

    Yes but no but; is that why we make make it harder for them to get a tertiary education…?
    Make it harder for the unemployed young people to get a job, by putting them through humiliating drug-testing…?

    Typical Liberal behaviour , be punitive, do not help, do not rehabilitate….

    As for rails and trains and airports, I believe when I see them; the second airport plan is taken out of the bag at every budget time….

  8. Freetasman

    helvityni, the government is “smart” in a way of attacking a sector that it is not united or politically active and also a sector that the majority of the electorate do not care for.
    The day that the students union become strong then things will change.
    The train project from Qld to Victoria have not been costed yet and I am looking forward with interest for the interstate transport sector reaction including the truck drivers.
    I can telling you that people in Tasmania are not over impressed about this budget and it can cost one or to senators to the Liberal party if things do not change.
    The increase of the medicare and the cost of study will hit bad the bad pocket of those families with an income of 150000 or less.
    No much complains about the lack of money allocated to climate change so far which shows that the back pocket come first.

  9. wam

    Why would you object to an Australian ‘Pravda’? Surely it would be an improvement over the current national paper because nobody will be fooled by the content?
    My children have mortgages, they will be hit by the increase to pay the bank levy. They are PAYE so will be hit by the medicare levy increase.(it would be more painfull if the levy was on gross earnings but it would be very satisfying to know the pie in the face types would pay and trumble’s/pollies’ contribution would be commensurate and fair???)
    your figures say LNP 87% worried about surplus but leave us to infer labor 72% and diludbransims 57% funny that the surplus depends on wage growth of 3+% from a government that has presided over the lowest wage increases in history and is committed to further cuts to wages
    loved Ashley, the ABC budget commentator – single, two children attending a private school. Great balance, very much like little billy’s group.
    Helvityni the vice chancellors make it EASIER to get into university and easier to succeed. Only those unable to get a job will have a debt?? consequences of such a debt???

  10. longwhitekid

    Demerit system? Not a bad idea? I think you’ll find if you do some research, it’s rather tougher than that for the unemployed, understatement. Like, miss ONE appointment and you lose your benefit. Or look at an ’employment’ ‘provider’ the wrong way, etc. You have to do VERY little to lose ALL support. The bashing of those that can’t and won’t ever be able to get work is endless. We have far more pressing issues to deal with.

  11. king1394

    And the debt ceiling has been raised again (Shhh)

  12. Judith W

    If welfare recipients are to be drug tested and denied payments if drugs are found in their system then I think the same should be rolled out to anyone and everyone who receives taxpayer money or taxpayer subsidies. And not just drug testing. What about cutting welfare for people who have been found to have indulged in cigarettes, junk food, gamboling, alcohol, netflix, takeaway dinners, tattoos, expensive haircuts, football tickets, music concerts…
    (Note that there doesn’t seem to be any distinction with regard to whether or not the welfare recipient has purchased the drugs.)
    Surely it is not ok for government to make welfare payments conditional upon recipients following a set of subjective criteria dictating how welfare recipients should live their lives.

  13. Matters Not

    rolled out to anyone and everyone who receives taxpayer money or taxpayer subsidies

    Good points. As I understand it, all those who receive taxpayer subsidies via negative gearing and capital gains discounts will also be subject to regular testing. The evidence indicates they are the main beneficiaries.

    But maybe not. Peter Dutton is apparently objecting on the grounds of an infringement of … something about human rights.

  14. corvus boreus

    If welfare recipients are to subjected to substance testing in order to receive their pittance of a payment, then our highly paid politicians should definitely also be drug tested (full spectrum) as a mandatory requirement before every parliamentary session.
    Unlike the unemployed, pollies are supposed to be making important decisions that seriously affect the national interest.

  15. vicki

    Judith – love your comment on people being punished for gamboling (gambling) maybe we all should take to the streets and have country wide gambols to show support. What a wonderful image. Great😀

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