Essential Research: 61-39

A narrowing trend in recent federal polling has come to an abrupt halt with this week’s Essential Research survey, which shows Labor’s lead blowing out from 57-43 to 61-39. Supplementary questions find the punters anticipating budget misery and loving it – twice as many (38 per cent to 19 per cent) expect it to be bad for them personally as expect it to be good, while 49 per cent want tax cuts deferred against 35 per cent who want them to proceed. In other news, most support the government’s changes to the emissions trading scheme and oppose the commitment of further troops to Afghanistan.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

2,495 comments on “Essential Research: 61-39”

Comments Page 49 of 50
1 48 49 50
  1. Ah, thanks ShowsON, so Turnbull plans to drive the Liberal Party into DEBT. Imagine what he would do to the country if he ran it? He’s a very confused man, like Oz said 😉

    I better catch up on my sleep deficit. Night bludgers.

  2. Why does Turnbull think increasing the price of tobacco products will reduce consumption, but he doesn’t think increasing the price of alcopops will decrease consumption of them?

  3. GB:

    A Whine about Wine from the Curious Snail. I’m surprised they didn’t mentikon there was Four X Beer being served.

  4. Was he Malcolm, Arthur or Martha?

    Turnbull’s problem was, is and will be that he has no definition of himself. The punters are still at lost as to who he is: Left, Right, Centre, Wet, Dry, Republican, Monarchist, etc etc etc.

    Classic example was from his budget reply last night. He has been huffin’ and puffin’ that he will pick a big fight with the Govt over the budget because the Govt has been reckless in spending our money and going into debt, debt and debt. We will fight you on the beaches of debt and deficit, he thundered.

    Yet, the only “fight” he has picked was something that accounts for only 0.15% of the spending the budget proposes over the next 4 years. Worst still, he now has a fight with the punters over the increase in the cig tax. Who will be huffin’ and puffin’ now?

    Like Macca used to scream: “Are you serious?” Come on Malcolm, hit me with your rhythm stick.

  5. [Was he Malcolm, Arthur or Martha? ]
    He was all bluff and bluster on RN this morning. His insistence that Rudd was terrified of an election sounded like transference.

  6. To be honest, I tend to agree with Phil Coorey in the SMH today. Neither party really wants to go to an election – the ALP because of the historical opposition to early elections and the tendency towards ‘underperformance’ of government vote in these elections (remember, despite the polls, they have a small margin), the LIBS because they are a rabble without a coherant strategy or message other than debts under the bed.

    Coorey pointed out (as Finns did above) that Turnbull is making himself a small target. His budget reply shows that he doesn’t want an election.

  7. [Neither party really wants to go to an election]
    That seems to be the consensus of commentators on RN this morning. The prediction is that the budget will pass with only minor fiddling at the edges.
    Malcolm Farr, Paul Bongiorno and Micelle Grattan all agreed that the Government had won the week.

  8. Because of the stimulus package around my way, we will be in effect achieving around $1M worth of stimulus. We have over over 100 homes taking up the Solar power subsidy, also we are taking the “pink bats” offer (the one so often mocked by the Coalition) to have our roofs insulated which will further reduce our power bills. We will all be doing our part in greening our foot steps.
    By the way I live in the Northern Rivers area of NSW.

  9. A report in the Lancet tells us that Global Warming will affect BILLIONS of lives. Australia’s obsession with molly-coddling the Coal Industry has to be seen as unethical in this context.

    [CHANGING patterns of infections and insect-borne diseases and more deaths from heatwaves.

    REDUCED water and food security causing malnutrition and diarrhoeal disease.

    AN INCREASE in flooding and injuries from extreme climate events, such as cyclones.

    LARGE-SCALE population migration and the likelihood of civil unrest.

    The authors called for urgent action on climate change and for support to be put in place for those likely to be most affected.

    “Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century,” they said.

    “Effects of climate change on health will affect most populations in the next decades and put the lives and wellbeing of billions of people at increased risk.”]

    http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,25483726-5006301,00.html

  10. I’m sure the Government wouldn’t mind a couple of DD triggers so they could call an early election if they wanted to.

  11. Away from all of Turnbull’s hot air, he cannot answer three simple questions:
    1. What cuts would he make or what other taxes would he raise to reduce the deficit?
    2. Does he believe in stimulus spending?
    3. What are the risks of underspending during a recession?

  12. What, even the MSS (Main Stream Science) is bagging Labour’s policy?

    Actually the revised ETS with 25% target and allowance for voluntary action is much better than the first version. Certainly in my field this budget is too – there is a lot of investment in public transport and rail freight, which will help reduce transport CO2 emissions. However, the lie of “clean-coal” remains as a stain on it.

  13. Turnbull’s whole debt nonsense is just that – nonsense. So we accumulate a debt of about 4% of GDP for a few years, peaking with a national debt of 14% of GDP. Big deal! The USA had a debt of 60% of GDP BEFORE the GFC. The UK has an even bigger debt. Japan has a debt of over 100% of GDP.

    If Turnbull is so concerned about the debt, why doesn’t he ADD the tobacco revenue proposal to the budget, rather than use it as an excuse to take an important revenue measure out of the budget. It is a subsidy that currently isn’t working, because the private health insurance rebate has taken billions out of public health funding, but taken hardly anyone off public hospital waiting lists. All the health funds did was put up their premiums to match the rebate. It was a failed policy.

  14. If the US goes with a 17% CO2 reduction by 2020, the UK 25% and the EU 20%, does anyone here actually believe Rudd will go up to any of these levels?

    I don’t. But I’m a heartless sceptic.

  15. Dr Diogenes, am I correct in saying that smoking is now heavily concentrated among lower-income people? And that therefore Turnbull’s proposed swap amounts to an increased tax on the poor in order to maintain a subsidy for private health insurance for the rich?

  16. Possum,

    [
    Possum Comitatus
    Posted Friday, May 15, 2009 at 10:04 am | Permalink
    Adam, smokers are heavily skewed to the lower end in the income distribution curve.
    ]

    Is the smoking curve more skewed to the low end than the alcohol curve? I am sure that both are skewed that direction, wondering which is more as I know rich people do both ……

  17. Juliem, they’re not quite the same thing, because tobacco is harmful no matter what the level of use, whereas alcohol is only harmful if used to excess. The great majority of people in all classes drink some alcohol, but only 20% of Australians smoke at all. That 20% is, I believe, heavily concentrated among young low-income men. It may be that alcohol abuse is also concentrated in that group, but I don’t know that for a fact, and I doubt that the concentration is as heavy. Maybe someone here knows the actual data.

  18. [Unfortunately for Generation Blue – and the Coalition, it must be said – these folks are now running into the pointy end of human mortality. To highlight how quickly the political demographics can change, we can chart Australian mortality rates using the latest ABS Life Tables. On the left is the probability that a person of a given age will die in the next 12 months. As you can see, after 60 the mortality rates start increasing, after 75 they climb dramatically.]

    Poss, you mean you die sooner as you get older? I didn’t realise that, because i thought only the good die young

  19. Psephos

    As Possum said, smoking is heavily skewed to the lower income groups (as is alcohol but not nearly as much). Smokers obviously require a lot more health care so Turnbull’s policy is even worse than it looks. Smokers are going to pay more for rich people to have private health insurance, and they will be just the ones who need the health care they are subsidising.

    It’s quite evil if you think about it. 👿

  20. Juliem, alcohol consumption skews different ways depending on whether it’s beer, wine, spirits, RTD’s etc one is measuring.

    Psephos – now tell me, when writing the phrase, ” …the (insert name)s of this world”, is there an apostrophe or not?

    Because I found examples in reputable places, such as journals, The Economist, and major newspapers etc where people had put an apostrophe and where there wasn’t one.

    So what’s the real answer?

  21. Psephos

    There is just as much alcohol abuse amongst the middle-aged as the young, esp in women. It’s one of the arguments used against the alcopop tax, which is aimed at the young.

  22. Poss, it would be a plural, wouldn’t it? So no apostrophe. Would you write ‘the blonds of this world’ or ‘the blond’s of this world?
    My spell check in Firefox doesn’t like the latter.

  23. Poss

    I don’t suppose you have checked up on Turnbull’s $1.9B over 4 year revenue increase from a 12.5% increase in cigarette excise. The figures looked a bit dodgy to me.

  24. Strictly speaking, you’d have to write “The Kevin Andrewses of the world”. But “The Kevin Andrews of the world” will do. Plurals should really never take an apostrophe, although its use with acronyms like CD’s has become established, because when you’re writing in caps CDS becomes confusing. In the sentence we’re refering to, however, there is no excuse for them, these are straightforward plurals. (Not plural’s or plurals’.) IN ANY CASE, his name is Andrews not Andrew so Andrew’s would be wrong anyway. Would you really write “The Barry Jone’s of the world”? I hope not.

  25. I expect the difference is that upper-income people (at least over 25) don’t do their alcohol abuse in public, whereas lower-income people are more likely to do so. Obviously there is plenty of alcohol abuse among the young and wealthy, but I expect most of them grow out of it once they embark on the ladder of class privilege. Lower income men are more likely to remain stuck in a culture of heavy drinking.

  26. [Would you really write “The Barry Jone’s of the world”? I hope not.]

    I probably would with my grasp of grammar and punctuation.

    “The Kevin Andrewses of the world” – good grief! It’s time to rebuild the English language from the ground up.

  27. Possum – great analysis – if there were any bright young things in the Liberal party they would take your work and make it the stone tablet upon which all future philosophy, direction and policy is based. Unfortunately for them, I don’t think there are many such people in the party capable of understanding their bleak future.

    Good point about the tax on ciggies hitting the poor to fund a tax break for the rich. That deserves currency out there in MSM-land.

    On the general efffect of tobacco vs alcopops tax, Turnbull is at least partly correct when he pleads that a tax on tobacco is a tax on all cigarettes, but a tax on alcopops is only a tax on one brand (actually a few brands). The alcoholics can escape the tax but the smokers cannot.

  28. [I don’t suppose you have checked up on Turnbull’s $1.9B over 4 year revenue increase from a 12.5% increase in cigarette excise. The figures looked a bit dodgy to me.]

    I’m sure Possum could quite easily find the real revenue increase and even factor in the declining rate of consumption (hint hint).

  29. Possum, the apostrophe is the bane of written English so don’t feel too upset at your crass errors – I’ve seen crasser. my favourite:
    TONIGHT: SOUTH MELBOURNE HELLA’S v JUVENTU’S
    And your grammar is vastly superior to Antony Green’s.

  30. It’s quite logical Possum, depending on what drug you’re on.
    It works like this (direct form Rogers’ Correct English Usage 2nd Ed) – if there were two people involved in developing a policy, both named Kevin Andrews, then the correct use would be:
    “The Kevin Andrewses’s policy against Indian doctors was appalling.”

    If we didn’t like that formulation, then we could – equaly correctly – re-structure it thus:
    “The policy devised by Kevin Andrews and Kevin Andrews against Indian doctors was appalling.” Easy. That should be in the test for all immigrants in place of the DOn Bradman question.

  31. [but a tax on alcopops is only a tax on one brand (actually a few brands).]
    I think the government needs to work harder on overcoming this meme.
    [HEALTH groups have applauded the federal government’s lightning move to virtually double taxes on alcopops in the battle on binge drinking.

    The excise on pre-mixed alcoholic beverages was lifted at midnight from $39 a litre to $67, putting them on an equal footing with bottled spirits.

    The move is aimed at young drinkers, with the sugary, cheaper drinks blamed for a rise in teenage binge drinking.

    pre-mixed drinks will now cost between 30 cents and $1.30 more per bottle, reversing an eight-year-old excise cut which made alcopops cheaper than straight spirits.]
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23605697-5013946,00.html

  32. [but a tax on alcopops is only a tax on one brand (actually a few brands). The alcoholics can escape the tax but the smokers cannot.]

    The alcopops tax is not meant as deterrent to alcoholism, but as a deterrent to binge-drinking by teenagers. There’d be no point in putting it on cognac, because that’s not what kids binge on. This incidentally belies the Liberal line that the alcopops impost is just a tax grab – it would be much easier for Labor to jack up taxes on all alcohol, but we didn’t.

  33. Psephos
    [The alcopops tax is not meant as deterrent to alcoholism, but as a deterrent to binge-drinking by teenagers.]
    Agreed, and I don’t think it was a tax grab either, but my point was that there is a large qualitative difference between the two taxes.

    But on your point, I have seen nothing to convince me that a selective alcohol tax will have the desired effect of reducing teenage bingeing. When I was a teenager, alcopops weren’t even thought of (it was even before blackberry nip I think!) but binge drinking was still the thing to do. It’s all about the new-found ‘adult’ freedom to abuse alcohol – whether it’s (note apostrophe) sweet sugary mixers in bottles, or wine, or rum and coke, or a million other easy to drink options, the kids will drink to the excess they require regardless of that tax, which puts one finger in one dyke (if you’ll pardon the expression).

  34. [It’s all about the new-found ‘adult’ freedom to abuse alcohol – whether it’s (note apostrophe) sweet sugary mixers in bottles, or wine, or rum and coke, or a million other easy to drink options, the kids will drink to the excess they require regardless of that tax, which puts one finger in one dyke (if you’ll pardon the expression).]

    One finger in a dyke that had a huge hole put in it when Howard HALVED the excise on alcopops in 2000. This simply reverses that decision.

    Double the price and less kids will be able to buy alcoholic lolly water. Sure some may switch to other things, but the evidence has shown that it reduced overall alcohol consumption by 5%.

  35. Dario
    [the evidence has shown that it reduced overall alcohol consumption by 5%.]
    I read that the tax had reduced the sale of alcopops. Is there evidence now that it has reduced binge drinking among teenagers? I thought I had read that there was no such evidence. It doesn’t logically wash that there would be such a reduction.

    One thing peer group influenced teenagers in binge drinking territory aren’t going to say is – “Oh, now there’s a tax on alcopops, I will just go to the party and not drink.”

    Of course they’ll switch to other things. What’s the difficulty in a group of kids moving from a case of Bundy & Coke cans (now taxed) to a bottle of Bundy (not Taxed) & a bottle of Coke?

  36. 2447 Whe I say spirits “not taxed” I mean relatively cheap compared to the newly taxed canned article.

  37. JV, I agree in part, but I think there is evidence that binge drinking by teens is made easier and more acceptable if drinks are being specifically designed and marketted for that purpose. If heroin was sold with chocolate coating, I for one would now be a heroin addict. There is also evidence the price signal sent by the tax (in concert with other things of course, such as deterrence campaigns) has made a difference.

  38. [Of course they’ll switch to other things. What’s the difficulty in a group of kids moving from a case of Bundy & Coke cans (now taxed) to a bottle of Bundy (not Taxed) & a bottle of Coke?]

    Thanks for repeating Peter Dutton’s talking points 🙂 Now I can repeat Roxon’s:

    Following the effectiveness of the Rudd Government’s alcopops measure, the Government will re-introduce this measure into the Parliament as part of its ongoing commitment to the fight against binge-drinking. The measure – which has been widely backed by health experts – has seen a 35 per cent fall in the consumption of alcopops and a significant fall in spirits consumption. The Government is not prepared to abandon these gains in a vital area of public health, despite Mr Turnbull’s efforts to obstruct this measure and protect the alcopops industry. Along with health experts, police superintendents and community groups across the country, the Rudd Government does not think sugary, colourful drinks targeted squarely at underage drinkers deserve the tax break provided by the Liberals in 2000. The measure will also continue to ensure that all spirits are taxed at the same rate whether they are consumed as alcopops or full strength spirits, hence closing the tax loophole provided to the alcopops industry by the previous government.

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 49 of 50
1 48 49 50