Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor

A budget-eve poll finds the Coalition gaining slightly on voting intention, and Tony Abbott recovering the lead as preferred prime minister.

The Essential Research fortnightly rolling average looks like the only poll we’ll be getting this week, as its rivals hold their fire ahead of tonight’s budget. The poll has ticked a point to the Coalition on two-party preferred, bringing Labor’s lead down to 52-48. The primary votes are 41% for the Coalition (up one), 39% for Labor (steady), 11% for the Greens (up one) and 1% for Palmer United (steady). Also featured are monthly leadership ratings, which find Tony Abbott continuing to improve – he’s up three on approval to 36%, and down four on disapproval to 54%. Bill Shorten’s ratings are stable, with approval and disapproval both down a point to 32% and 41%, which on recent form would be a relief for him. However, Abbott now leads as preferred prime minister, Shorten’s 35-32 a lead of month ago having reversed.

As Joe Hockey prepares to bring down his second budget, the poll shows that his ratings too are slightly less bad than they were, with approval on 30% and disapproval on 48%, respectively up three and down three compared with the last time the question was asked in March. He is now clearly ahead of Chris Bowen on trust to handle the economy, his 26-25 lead opening to 30-22, with “don’t know” still running extremely high. The poll also finds support for the government’s tighter assets test on pensions – 56% in favour, with 30% opposed.

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.

1,175 comments on “Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor”

Comments Page 23 of 24
1 22 23 24
  1. TBA

    Where do you get the idea that these mothers were ‘rich’?

    All they had to be doing was getting more than $12k for 17 weeks from their employer.

    So any mother on $35k plus a year, whose employer provides parental leave, meets that definition.

    Are we now defining $35k a year as rich? If so, those families on $185 k are more than just wealthy!

  2. Could someone please explain whether the 1.5% tax cut for businesses under $2,000,000. turnover extends to companies or only to people who are sole traders, trading trusts or partnerships?

    If it extends to companies then the company pays 1.5% less tax, namely 28.5%, but when a dividend is distributed to the shareholder he pays tax at a rate commensurate with his tax rate, and gets credit only for the “franked” portion of his dividend. Thus the shareholder in the “small business” is paying the 1.5% deduction the company received when he pays his personal income tax. Net benefit nil.

    If sole traders and partnerships are included, then there would have to be an across the board deduction of personal income tax rates of 1.5% for anyone engaged, no matter how insignificantly, in a small business.

    Can this be right? If so this little black duck will consider starting a Mickey Mouse small business right away, buying tax deductible plant with the $20000 Government “donation”, let it run into the ground, claim the loss against my “real” income, and pay 1.5% less tax over all.

    I must have it wrong.

    The Government can’t be that stupid.

  3. [ This has been closed now by the Coalition Government ]

    So ToBeAdvised. They have passed the legislation to do that have they? Got it through the Senate yet with all the rest…….or even their stuff from last year???

  4. Fulvio except the company has more after tax profit to pay as dividends and then it depends on the marginal tax rate of the recipients of the dividend.

  5. [“Where do you get the idea that these mothers were ‘rich’?”]

    From the budget figures.

    Something like 90% of double dippers were above average wage.

    People in low paid jobs don’t generally get company PPL hence they aren’t double dipping the Government scheme.

    It’s gonna be a bit rich for Labor and Ged to come out to bat for rich mothers after their efforts on attacking Abbotts original PPL. It’s the ultimate Labor wedge, they won’t know which side they are on.

  6. I’m not a tax accountant, David, but it sure doesn’t sound like much of a benefit to the shareholder to me. Infinitesmal, even.

  7. [“Could someone please explain whether the 1.5% tax cut for businesses under $2,000,000. turnover extends to companies or only to people who are sole traders, trading trusts or partnerships?”]

    It extends to small business who pay company tax whose turnover is under $2 Mill a year.

    [“Can this be right? If so this little black duck will consider starting a Mickey Mouse small business right away, buying tax deductible plant with the $20000 Government “donation”, let it run into the ground, claim the loss against my “real” income, and pay 1.5% less tax over all.

    I must have it wrong.

    The Government can’t be that stupid.”]

    No it’s just you, you are stupid.

    Company Tax =/= Income Tax

  8. Josh F nailed it tonight.

    Christian Porter nailed it on Monday night QandA.

    Lots of talent in the Liberal youth pool.

  9. Fulvio the other issue with a company structure is that the after tax profit can be retained in the company to fund growth. The effective tax rate is 28.5% regardless of the level of taxable income.

  10. Fulvio,

    Sorry I was a bit harsh, but you seriously need to look into Company Tax vs Income Tax.

    Anyways I don’t think there are many small business who pay the company tax because most times it’s not worth the trouble (companys are legal entities) or added costs

  11. A Family trust is a much better way to go for a small business making north of $200K or so but less than $2 Mill

    You can distribute the wealth through the family which helps minimise tax.

    Doing it your way would mean paying 28.5% tax + whatever income tax is owed. Sounds like a pretty shitty deal to me.

  12. Yes, David, I give you that. But it is still effectively chicken feed in the overall investment funding needs of a mum and dad service providing company (Abbott’s Tradies) to make a real difference.

    Many companies, especially those trading with investment or rental income from their capital assets, simply distribute the net profits annually (mine included).

    But my real (and genuine) question still is, are corporations included or excluded? I have read and heard conflicting opinions on that.

  13. TBA

    You didn’t get it from the Budget. I’ve just checked and the figures aren’t in there.

    So where did you get the figure of 90%?

  14. TBA

    [It’s gonna be a bit rich for Labor and Ged to come out to bat for rich mothers..]

    The PPL is set at the minimum wage.

    Most people earn more than the minimum wage.

    Therefore any employer provided PPL is going to be more than the government’s.

    Rich mothers aren’t going to be hurt by this, because if they’re rich, their employer provided benefit is at their full wage, and often basically unlimited.

    The women who are going to be hurt are those who earn above the minimum wage and who were relying on a mix of the government payment and their employer provided scheme to take six months off – which is what both sides of Parliament and the expert advice they received recommended.

    “Double dipping” implies that they receive both payments simulataneously, rather than one complementing the other.

  15. Just in general on people giving Happiness carrots on this site, Lib voters occupy 50% of the country but maybe 5% here. Calling him a troll is simply the 95% exerting their dominance – pretty cheap groupthink easy target stuff. Borderline bullying tactics sometimes, which is ironic considering the group’s enlightened views on that kind of conduct in general. Preaching to the converted is pretty easy, and way too much of a comfort zone here for too many

  16. Zoomster,

    It was on ABC News the other night with the budget breakdown.

    The overwhelming majority of double dippers were rich mothers.

  17. [ The Government is estimating that about 80,000 new parents will miss out on all or some of the benefit each year. Its rhetoric has focused on creating the impression that these 80,000 people are high income earners collecting a rort, making them a soft target for the Government’s newly minted “fairness” narrative.

    The real story is that the median income of all PPL recipients is $47,730, and that of the parents who would no longer qualify is $73,011. Compare that to the Prime Minister’s recent assertion that an income of $185,000 is not “especially high”. Whatever, but we’re not talking about high earners. ]

  18. TBA I didn’t make a judgement on which structure is better as it depends on a number of factors not just income tax. I was simply answering Fulvio’s question. Certainly a trust has tax advantages for income splitting but they also have some fundamental shortcomings once you move away from a fairly tight family situation.

    Actually a trust structure with a company beneficiary as well as individuals is often the best structure.

  19. By the way, as an expat who hasnt paid taxes in Aus for 18 years now – can i also ask if there is any detail around how Pyno is going to get HECS money from me? Thinking of coming back to Aus in next 12 months, boy will i have a large debt awaiting!

  20. [“and that of the parents who would no longer qualify is $73,011”]

    That’s the important bit.

    Sounds like they are doing alright for themselves, why do the taxpayers need to give them a double dip on their very generous schemes?

  21. Say a soon-to-be mother earns just on the level at which the government stops paying PPL.

    What’s to stop her employer (and her) agreeing to stop her employer PPL, so the government pays it and the employer saves the money?

    Then the money saved by the employer could be put towards a “bonus” or pay rise.

  22. [“Thinking of coming back to Aus in next 12 months, boy will i have a large debt awaiting!”]

    Better have your credit card ready at the airport would be my advice

  23. [This budget is a winner for the Coalition.

    Just enough sweetners for the middle class with just a dash of cuts for double dippers which helps wedge Labor and a sprinkling of optimism for returning to surplus.


    Lots of people have said it was almost as good as a Swan budget, I guess you agree. Must be pretty humiliating for Joe having so foolishly abused Swan budgets to be bringing down one, just like them but not quite as good.

  24. Expat

    I’ve been asking the same question. Crickets, so far – which I think means no one has any idea.

    As an ex pat, you can probably answer this question — does the government have any idea of your current earnings?

    If the answer is no, it’s hard to see how they can determine whether you’ve spent your years abroad earning a motza or whether you’ve been backpacking around the world and sleeping under bridges.

  25. Diog

    I’ve been wondering about ways around the PPL restrictions (given that some employers genuinely wish to pay their employees more, to make sure they retain them).

    I would think that you could jiggle long service leave entitlements in some way.

  26. I’m actually kindof disappointed about the total lack of $150k per MP for community grants thing now. I know some of you lot weren’t keen, but that’s never stopped Abbott before.

    Ah well, hopefully he gets desperate enough for it as his numbers fall and the backbench rumbling begins in full.

  27. Expat Follower, I am sure they can only take it out of your wages at a fixed rate. if you make less than $54k you don’t pay anything.

    As for the actual size of your debt, it should be the same in NPV as it was when you left as it has only gone up by the CPI.

    If you are coming back to do another degree, come back quick and get started. The Libs are planning to raise the contribution students pay, plus make it increase at the 10 year bond rate (capped at 5%). Add to this the abilities of universities to set their on fees (also on the Lib wish list) you will land up with a humongous debt.

    In my own case, If I had of learnt under those rules, I would have incurred a debt of $160 k and would not have started to make headway into paying the loan back until I earned $360k a year. (Up until then I would not even have covered the interest).

    The end result is is would die with debt. Something I am sure, a future liberal government would want to claim back from my estate.

  28. Zoom, am guessing Aus could only recoup in countries with a suitable tax treaty arrangement with the agreement of that foreign government collecting on Aus’ behalf and remitting. Dont think SA is one of them (no way SA could execute such an arrangement)! Massive majority would be UK, USA and HK/Sing i would guess.

    V unlikely Aus govt knows what i earn here, but am presuming they would agree a stipulated rate with the UK tax office. Essentially its outsourcing a tax collection to another jurisdiction using their own data by mutual agreement.

  29. I haven’t heard any journo pulling a government spokesperson up when they talk about electricity being cheaper than it was a year ago. Mine certainly isn’t.

  30. PeeBee nope too old to study any more. 18 years of indexation would make for a not pretty number – but u right, i’d pay 8% out of any future aussie earnings until its exhausted. Apparently one gets a hecs statement every year from ATO – i have never seen one, maybe they forgot about me 🙂

  31. Ahh, after some googling they dont send out a statement any more but i could find out debt quantum online with my tax file number. Jeez, i dont know if i have any record of it after all this time… wonder if could apply for a new one and make a fresh start, like a witness protection programme LOL

  32. [Simon Banks
    3m3 minutes ago
    Simon Banks ‏@SimonBanksHB
    On Sunday @TonyAbbottMHR said there would be “no new taxes” in this Budget.

    There are 17, including the “Netflix Tax” @Lateline]

  33. Zoomster, my electricity went from 29cents a kilowatt hour to 24 cents when the carbon price was abolished. What did interest me was while cleaning up my files from 7 years ago I was paying 12 cents. So privatising electricity had made the price of electricity double in seven years.*

    Coupled with that I also had to pay for fires the privatised power companies started due to poor maintenance (5 of the 9 fires in 2009 were started by poorly maintained power lines).

    I also had to pay for the hazelwood open cut fire (again created by shortcuts to maintenance of equipment).

    Another risk (which I haven’t costed) is that the power companies were not allocating money for replacement power stations. They have been running the old power station at 94% capacity (as opposed to 74% pre-privatisation) and if they were to fail, we would be a pickle.

    * I concede that there other factors effecting price: lower demand due to industry closing down, gold plating by distribution companies, increase solar cells.

  34. The “Netflix Tax” is not really a new tax, it is just the GST being collected on expenditure that is almost impossible to monitor and regulate, that the tax office has not been able to do anything about.

  35. When you consider it, calling mothers claiming their work entitlements negotiated with their employers and also the Federal Government’s basic PPL scheme ‘rorters’ and ‘fraudsters’ is pretty damned offensive.

  36. The Netflix tax is an extension of the GST coverage to apply to cross-border digital sales. These were not previously subject to GST.

    So it’s not a “new tax” so much as an extension of an existing tax – in the same way that raising the company tax rate could also be considered not to be a “new tax”. But of course that would be a ridiculously misleading semantic justification.

Comments Page 23 of 24
1 22 23 24

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *