Essential Research: Newstart, robodebt, social media

More evidence that voters favour social democratic policy options, right up until polling day.

The fortnightly Essential Research poll, which is still yet to resume results for voting intention, focuses largely on questions around social security. Among its findings are that the Newstart rate is deemed too low by 58%, about right by 30% and too high by 5%. Forty-four per cent expressed strong support for an increase from $280 per week to $355, a further 31% said they somewhat supported it, and only 18% said they were opposed, 7% strongly.

I don’t normally make anything out of breakdowns published in average sample polls, but it’s interesting to note that the “too low” response increases progressively across the three age cohorts to peak at 66% among the 55-and-over. There was also a relationship between age and correct answers to a question in which respondents were asked to identify the weekly Newstart payment, the overall result for which was 40%, up from 27% when it was previously asked last June. Only 29% of Coalition voters expressed strong support for an increase compared with 55% for Labor supporters, but the difference was narrower when combined with the “somewhat” response, at 84% to 68%.

On the Centrelink “robodebt” debt recovery program, 58% supported calls for it to be shut down compared with 32% opposed. Twenty-two per cent said they had heard a lot about the program and 30% a little, while 18% said they had not heard any details and 30% that they were not aware of it at all.

The one question not relating to social security covers social media companies’ collection of personal information, with 80% expressing concern about the matter and the same number wanting tighter regulation. The affirmative response for both questions progressively increased across the three age cohorts.

Also noteworthy from the poll is that Essential Research has taken to publishing “base” figures for each cohort in the breakdown, which evidently reflect their proportion of the total after weightings are applied. This is at least a step in the direction of the transparency that is the norm in British and American polling, in that it tell us how Essential is modelling the overall population, even if it doesn’t divulge how much each cohort’s responses are being weighted to produce those totals.

The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from an online sample of 1102 respondents.

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.

533 comments on “Essential Research: Newstart, robodebt, social media”

  1. “It is not “platforming” a fringe group – i.e. giving them more publicity than they would otherwise have – to point out that Australian Federal Government members are attending this meeting.”

    It’s Government members doing the “platforming”.

  2. A police department in Galveston, Texas, has apologized after two white officers on horseback led a black man through the city’s streets on a rope.

    WTF? That is insane!

  3. Confessions says:
    Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 9:40 am

    A police department in Galveston, Texas, has apologized after two white officers on horseback led a black man through the city’s streets on a rope.

    WTF? That is insane!

    They go on to say it’s a standard practice available to officers.

    How often is it used?

  4. Itzadream

    I find him one of the least respectful of opinions other than his own. He is trying to increase the weight of voice of rural and conservative voters and keep meddlesome city know-alls off their back.

    There are some MPs whose every utterance needs to be taken with a shedload of salt.

  5. Re the horse and rope. If you are a mounted cop and there are no cars around that would look to be a practical way of bringing someone with them. If it was a rural/farming town then it would seem an even more logical way to get someone back to the station. What else were they to do, ride double ?

  6. Confessions says:
    Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 9:58 am

    How often is it used?

    Clearly a remnant procedure from a (very) bygone era, but what would possess someone to use it in 2019?

    The required equipment was ready at hand, so maybe not so rare now.

  7. Analysis from 2018.

    In one of a suite of new submissions to a Senate inquiry, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies academic Juan Carlos Boué warned unless Australia “radically overhauled its fiscal regime” it would have the second lowest share of government revenue from oil and gas in the world.

    Australia is on track to eclipse Qatar as the largest exporter of gas by 2020, but is expected to only earn $600 million in 2018 – the same amount of revenue the government earns in beer tax every year – compared to Qatar’s $26.6 billion.

    But guess what? I am reading that Morrison wants to raise the tax on beer!

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/staggering-90-billion-lost-in-resources-tax-20180305-p4z2uv.html

  8. In what alternate universe could carrying a gun be called a “god-given right”? And what’s the point of prayers to such a god after a massacre? This is a very strange culture.

    Yet KK is being criticised for objecting to these people having public platform in Australia.

    Both CPAC hosts Matt Schlapp and Dan Schneider are lifetime members of the National Rifle Association.

    Fellow lifetime NRA member and CPAC speaker Congressman Matt Gaetz believes gun rights are “granted not by government but by God” and led efforts to allow people in Florida to carry their guns in public.

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/we-can-t-bury-our-heads-when-it-comes-to-right-wing-extremism-20190806-p52ec7.html

  9. Fellow lifetime NRA member and CPAC speaker Congressman Matt Gaetz believes gun rights are “granted not by government but by God

    Oh fer sure, it’s right there in the bible, chapter something , verse something or other 🙂 🙂 🙂

  10. lizzie @ #61 Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 – 10:07 am

    Analysis from 2018.

    Australia is on track to eclipse Qatar as the largest exporter of gas by 2020, but is expected to only earn $600 million in 2018 – the same amount of revenue the government earns in beer tax every year – compared to Qatar’s $26.6 billion.

    But guess what? I am reading that Morrison wants to raise the tax on beer!

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/staggering-90-billion-lost-in-resources-tax-20180305-p4z2uv.html

    Consulting my Crystal Ball (fully imported from Bizarro World*) of which Orstraya is a foundation member state – being as Htrae as anybod/anything. I’m seeing prayers and thoughts ascending to (where such ascend to) imploring beer drinkers to lift your game – forget about an extra child for the good of the country, drink more beer. 🙏

    *
    Bizarro World – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bizarro_World
    The Bizarro World (also known as Htrae, which is “Earth” spelled backwards) is a fictional planet appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics.
    ‎History · ‎Known inhabitants · ‎In other media · ‎In popular culture.

    Caffeine deprivation requires serious attention a la maison de KayJay. ☕☕

  11. lizzie says:
    Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 10:32 am

    Barney

    Perhaps the American Constitution came down on stone tablets from the sky.

    But the gun bit is one of a number of amendments, how can doG have got it wrong so many times? 🙂

  12. Crimson rosellas are very beautiful in their crimson and blue. Just outside my study window, sitting on a branch beside the newly opened ball of flowers of a pink flowering Luculia gratissima, one adult makes a pretty picture.

    Then the parrot leans forward, plucks a whole flower-ball, nibbles one blossom and drops the rest to the ground. Does this on the only three branches blooming, then flies away, satisfied.

    #destructivebirdsonPB

  13. Zoidlord says:
    Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 8:23 am

    How good is NZ?

    GST of 15% across +90% of the taxable base and you pay $15-$20 or more to see a GP.

  14. poroti @ #640 Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 – 10:54 am

    lizzie

    Just be grateful this parrot is not still around to hang out in your garden 🙂
    .
    .
    Meet the ‘Hercules parrot’ from prehistoric New Zealand – the biggest ever discovered
    August 7, 2019
    https://theconversation.com/meet-the-hercules-parrot-from-prehistoric-new-zealand-the-biggest-ever-discovered-121437

    ” rel=”nofollow”>

    Meh. Snacks for the Haast’s Eagle. They had to downsize to Kea’s – which snack upon cars.

  15. Australia is on track to eclipse Qatar as the largest exporter of gas by 2020, but is expected to only earn $600 million in 2018 – the same amount of revenue the government earns in beer tax every year – compared to Qatar’s $26.6 billion.

    The question is whether the federal government should be taxing natural gas more heavily to discourage its use. The government doesn’t “earn income” when it taxes. The government deletes some of the private sector’s spending power. A number in a financial institution’s Exchange Settlement Account at the central bank gets changed downwards by a staffer typing the new, lower number. Taxing is done by debiting accounts at the central bank; government spending is done by crediting accounts at the central bank.

  16. rhwombat

    The Haast eagle becoming extinct so recently is a real piss off for me. Oh how I would love to have seen them flying free in the sky…………………….me in a safe steel and glass enclosure 😆

  17. The high court has unanimously upheld a decision to sack public servant Michaela Banerji for anonymous social media posts that criticised the government’s immigration policy.

    The court delivered its judgment in the landmark freedom of speech test case on Wednesday, upholding an appeal from the workers’ compensation agency Comcare which argued it was reasonable for the immigration department to sack Banerji.

    The case has implications for two million federal, state and local public servants, as the court declined to use the constitutional implied freedom of communication to rule the sacking was unreasonable.

    Banerji was sacked for breaching the public service code of conduct – which requires public servants to be apolitical “at all times” – for anonymous tweets from her LaLegale Twitter account that were critical of the government’s migration policies.

    After an unsuccessful unfair dismissal claim, Banerji won a workers’ compensation case when the administrative appeals tribunal found her sacking was unreasonable in part because it breached the implied freedom. The high court unanimously overturned that decision.

  18. Energy Minister Angus Taylor has backed Australia’s energy regulator taking four wind farm operators to court, saying wind farms need to be backed up and perform during severe weather.

    Mr Taylor would not go into the details of the cases but said the AER was doing its job in enforcing energy rules. He also said wind farms were fine, but needed to be “properly integrated.”

    “850,000 South Australians were in darkness as a result of that event … part of the reason it happened, we know, is the wind farms were not generating as they should have,” Mr Taylor told Adelaide’s 5AA radio.

    “People are going to bring wind and solar farms into the system, that’s fine, but they have to be properly integrated. “They have to be backed up so that when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, we have the power we need to keep the lights on, to keep the wheels of industry turning. And they have to perform.

    “We expect those rules to be kept and the AER’s jobs is to ensure those rules are kept. And that’s what they are doing here.”

  19. lizzie

    When the hawthorn berries are ripening, the gang gangs come for them.

    It’s a beautiful colour combination – grey and rose pink birds in a tree covered with red berries.

    We don’t get gang gangs otherwise, so our hawthorns are obviously part of their yearly routine.

  20. zoomster

    I love the way that gang-gangs send a junior member of the family down to check out the safety of a water source, while the others perch far above and watch!

  21. Not that I’m any lawyer or have any expertise in the American constitution, but the Second Amendment seems to be about the necessity of local or State militias for community defence, not any right to build a personal arsenal:

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

    This dates to 1790, a time before Police Forces and regular standing armies.

  22. Hillbilly

    Energy Minister Angus Taylor has backed Australia’s energy regulator taking four wind farm operators to court, saying wind farms need to be backed up and perform during severe weather.

    He got onto that quick smart.

    Did you hear that on ABC 891? Did you also hear Bevan previous to that making the parking issues in higher density developments to ‘created’ by the ALP with little more than a single throw away line that the higher density planning rules the ALP brought were designed to stop urban sprawl. Somehow, it is the ALPs fault that people choose to own three cars that are so huge they dont fit in their garage AND/OR they have refitted out their carport/garage into a home theatre so instead the cars fill up the street.

    I really hope he gets paid by the Liberal Party for all the good work he does for them.

    Firstly; urban infil is designed partly to enable people to live with less cars. Having lived in inner city Sydney – higher densities with little or no offstreet parking works a treat in keeping car ownership and size down (the high mortgages also helped).

    Secondly; I know Bevans job is to whinge about politicians (although he does seem to prefer to whinge at one side). But if he picks at downsides of major policy changes without adequately explaining why those policies came into place and the consequences of not making those changes – then he is just adding to the political malaise rather than a tonic for it.

  23. @ Barnie and our lord god (also something that our Greens and socialist friends should note as well):

    “Very astute from our Lord and Master.

    More evidence that voters favour social democratic policy options, right up until polling day.
    And there lies much of the problem!”

    ___________________

    The ‘problem’ is two fold: one is the marked difference between attitudes expressed by folk to opinion surveyors (nobody wants to come across as a selfish c*#t, even anonymously) and what happens to their black little hearts in the ballot box.

    Secondly, its the attitudes of low interest low information voters in the outer rim suburbs of our main cities and regional centres that matter. Only them. This was not properly captured by pollsters over the past 3 years and virtue signalling questions like ‘do you favour lifting the Newstart allowance’ or that old chestnut – “do you favour higher taxes in return for better services” similarly don’t capture the true sentiment of these type of folk.

    But hey. How good is ScoMo!

  24. Not that I’m any lawyer or have any expertise in the American constitution, but the Second Amendment seems to be about the necessity of local or State militias for community defence, not any right to build a personal arsenal:

    It has been a long time since facts mattered on this (or any) issue.

  25. beguiledagain:

    (From previous thread)

    [‘While I am a great admirer of tenors (Gigli and Bjorling dead heat), I consider the greatest voice of the 20th century was the lyric baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau…’]

    Yes, he was a great baritone, but they got the thin edge of the wedge as far as the great roles go, which in the main went to tenors. I consider, though, this aria from Traviata (rehearsal) to be a standout:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGtpZ-SKp9o

    And here’s an example Fischer-Dieskau’s prowess:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CXCvB90g08

  26. Evening bludgers.

    Just ate an enormous piece of duck creole style – downtown Atlanta is nice!

    Dayton and El Paso still dominating the TV news here.

    Paula Conboy at the AER disappoints me. The AEMO are going to be caught up in this, and it will just be a bun fight between wind farm operators, the market operator and the regulator. Which is what Angus wants. He’s a prick, but you knew that.

    Nick,

    The question is whether the federal government should be taxing natural gas more heavily to discourage its use. The government doesn’t “earn income” when it taxes. The government deletes some of the private sector’s spending power. A number in a financial institution’s Exchange Settlement Account at the central bank gets changed downwards by a staffer typing the new, lower number. Taxing is done by debiting accounts at the central bank; government spending is done by crediting accounts at the central bank.

    You are looking at the wrong dimension of the problem. Taxing rentier economic profits drives real investment towards productive enterprise, rather than allowing it to concentrate rent extraction. It’s also disinflationary, which everyone but hard MMT peeps value.

  27. The ‘problem’ is two fold: one is the marked difference between attitudes expressed by folk to opinion surveyors (nobody wants to come across as a selfish c*#t, even anonymously) and what happens to their black little hearts in the ballot box.

    Sugar. I blame sugar. And low fibre diets.
    I bang on about this. Nobody listens. Peeps have, deep down, good intent and know right from wrong. But after a bowl of high sugar cereal they go out to vote with brains fogged and bowels churning with bad gut flora and make spontaneous risky choices. They spend on their credit card or afterpay. They vote for Morrison. It is exhilarating. Like unprotected sex. And like unprotected sex – the payback sux.

    Not to worry, eat some chocolate and drink a coke.

  28. the Second Amendment seems to be about the necessity of local or State militias for community defence

    The Supreme Court essentially read the entire “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” preamble out of the Amendment, leaving just “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”.

  29. Holden Hillbilly says:
    Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 11:13 am

    The case should never have gotten that far and once again the AAT is shown to be a farce.

  30. lizzie says:
    Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 11:14 am
    Good morning, Bucephalus.

    Good Morning Lizzie.

    I apologise for missing your greeting earlier- I wandered off for a while.

    Regards

    B

  31. Steve777 says:
    Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 11:27 am

    Militia were expected to bring their own personal weapons back then – that is why they it refers to people keeping and bearing them.

    The horse has bolted on the interpretation by SCOTUS on the interpretation.

    The only way I can see it being changed is through a referendum that amends or deletes the Second Amendment.

    Even if that happened the massive amount of guns in the community would limit the effectiveness of any change.

  32. But it sets such a good precedent for Folau.

    Does it? Has the full written judgement come out yet? Seems to me they are different cases in important aspects.

  33. The horse has bolted on the interpretation by SCOTUS on the interpretation.

    Wasnt the Heller judgement rather limited. To handguns at home? Leaves a lot of room for gun control laws but not enough for a Howard style broad spectrum ban.

  34. “Last night Paul Keating said that Labor lost the election because it was proposing higher taxes and not because the public rejected bold policy reform and that Shorten failed to understand the middle class.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/bill-shorten-failed-to-understand-the-middle-class-paul-keating-says-20190806-p52ejk.html”

    I just caught up with the PJK interview on iView. I think the summary is a bit misleading. The point that PJK made is the same one I’ve been making for the past 6 years, including the last few as a bludger contributor:

    Namely, that if you are going to cut ‘tax expenditures’/concessions and thereby broaden the base then politically you need to engage in some compact with the public and return at least some of that as tax cuts.

    At the moment there are some $160 billon per annum of such tax expenditures (maybe up to about $250 billion, dependent on how one categories certain revenue measures). Mot of these favour selected groups within the top economic decile.

    Bringing forward stage two – as an election promise – to 1 July 2019 would have cost the government budget $3.5 billion BUT it would have won shorten the election as it – not stage 1 or stage 3 – would have had the most immediate impact on those low interest low information voters that deserted labor in droves over the cunning taxation scare campaign that the LNP ran so effectively (without any response from a mistakenly ‘high brow’ labor election campaign).

    Stage 1 and 2 acting in combination would also have the great benefit of stimulating a flat lining economy (as would bumping Newstart, but there ARE no votes in that – at least in the demographics that count).

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