One in two Australians back Stage 3 Tax Cut Changes

Stage 3 Tax Cut Changes

New Research Shows 51% of Australians Support Stage 3 Tax Cut Changes

One in two Australians believe Prime Minister Anthony Albanese did the right thing by restructuring the Stage 3 Tax cuts, despite critics labelling it a broken promise.

DemosAU surveyed 1154 Australians between February 1 and 13, in the wake of the government’s decision to restructure the tax cuts to provide a bigger cut to most workers, at the expense of those on higher incomes.

The results, provided exclusively to The Courier-Mail, show a majority of Australians support the changes, with 51% agreeing it was the right move, compared to 32% who were opposed, with 17% undecided.

Interestingly, support for the changes was strongest among older Australians – a core demographic for the LNP, with 54% of those aged over 54 saying the Prime Minister made the right call, compared to 32% who said it was the wrong call. Among those aged 45-54, support was even higher at 55%-27%.

Younger voters were less enthusiastic, though still on balance supportive of the changes, with a 45%-35% split among 18-24 year olds, widening to 47%-31% among 25-34 year olds and 48%-35% among 35-44 year olds.

Unsurprisingly, Labor voters were the most supportive of the change (70% to 19%), followed by Other party supporters (54%-27%), Greens (47% to 36%), Undecided voters (40% to 21%). LNP voters were split (41%-46%), with One Nation voters the most opposed (41% to 51%).

Income does not seem to be a decisive factor in determining Australians’ attitudes to the tax cuts, with a majority (54%) of those earning $200,000 a year or more supporting the changes, more or less in line with those on lower income brackets. In fact, support was weakest among those earning less than $45,000 at 43%.

Queenslanders were slightly more inclined to oppose the changes, with 51% saying the Prime Minister had made the right decision compared to 35% who said he’s made the wrong one – a 16 point gap, compared to a 49% to 29% split in Victoria and a 53% to 33% split in NSW. You can read our methodology statement here.

Commentary – Balancing Arguments for Cuts With Broken Promise Claims

By George Hasanakos

The question about the stage 3 tax cuts posed by DemosAU balanced the arguments for changing the Stage 3 tax cuts with the argument that the changes were a broken election promise.

The national headline result of 51-32 in favour of the right course of action mirrors other public polling which find that on balance, Australians prioritise recasting the stage 3 Tax Cuts to benefit more Australians than election promises being kept.

However, opposition to the changes to Stage 3 is higher in the DemosAU poll than any other public polling. This probably reflects the larger prominence of the term “broken promise” in the DemosAU formulation of the question.

Nevertheless, a bare majority of Australians 51% back the changes to the Stage 3 tax cuts, a figure 15-20pp higher than Labor nation-wide primary vote in published polling. Support for recasting Stage 3 Tax Cuts goes beyond supporters of the Labor Government.

The largest group of non-Labor voters who support the changes are older Coalition voters who seem to be comfortable with a progressive taxation system. Coalition voters are split on the Stage 3 changes with 41% believing it was the right thing to do, while 46% believe it is wrong because it is a broken promise. Conversely Labor voters are generally behind the change at 70-19.

Voters over 55 years of age support the changes 54-33. Older voters are a bedrock of Coalition support and generally disapprove of Labor Government initiatives. It is over 55’s who are the critical factor in majority support for the changes. We put this down to older voters being more accustomed and approving of progressive taxation system, and perhaps part time income of partially retired workers benefiting from the changes.

Income factors are mixed in the DemosAU results. We do not see rising opposition with higher income voters. Further, the changes to stage 3 tax cuts attract greater support in inner metropolitan voters where by 58-28, inner metro voters believed the stage 3 tax cut changes were the right thing to do. This is compared to softer support in Outer Metro (47-35) and Regional/Rural (50-33) areas.

To see more of our published research, visit our News page.

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