Responsible Economic Management Trumps ‘Broken Election Promise’: Stage 3 Tax Cuts Research

New research reveals more than twice as many Australians value good economic management over sticking to election promises regardless of how economic circumstances have changed, according to the Australia Institute.

The polling also reveals almost twice as many Australians support repealing the State 3 tax cuts than those who oppose, and most Australians accurately understand high income earners stand to benefit the most from the cuts. High income Australians have a better understanding of the Stage 3 tax cuts, and are also more likely to oppose them, according to the nationally representative sample of 1,409 Australians.

The research comes as the Australia Institute hosts the 2022 Revenue Summit at Parliament House with tax experts, academics, politicians, union leaders and former senior economic officials, including Assistant Treasurer the Hon Stephen Jones, Rod Sims (Fmr ACCC Chair), Sally McManus (ACTU Secretary), Bernie Fraser (Fmr RBA Governor) and Professor Miranda Stewart (University of Melbourne Law School) in advance of the October Budget.

Key Findings from National Poll:

  • Almost twice as many Australians (41%) support the Labor Government repealing the Stage 3 tax cuts than oppose (22%), with 37% unsure.
  • Majority of Australians (61%) think that adapting economic policy to suit the changing circumstances, even if that means breaking an election promise, is more important than keeping an election promise regardless of how economic circumstances have changed (27%), including 64% of Labor voters.
  • When asked which is better for Australia’s long-term interests, a majority of Australians (60%) choose “increased spending on government services like health and education” while only 15% selected proceeding with the Stage 3 tax cuts, and 15% selected increased defence spending.
  • High income Australians were more aware of the Stage 3 tax cuts, and more likely to support their repeal.
  • 46% of respondents correctly identified that high income earners would benefit most from Stage 3 tax cuts, while only 8% thought low income-earners would benefit most.
  • More Labor (43%), Greens (54%) and Independent/Other (46%) voters support the Labor Government repealing stage 3 income tax cuts than Coalition (35%) or One Nation (19%) voters.

“The research shows most Australians agree that when economic circumstances change, economic policy should change too – even if that means breaking an election promise,” said Dr. Richard Denniss, Executive Director of the Australia Institute.                                       

“The more Australians learn about Scott Morrison’s 2018 Stage 3 tax cuts for high income earners, the more likely they are to oppose proceeding with them in the current economic climate.

“Australians are receptive to having a big, honest conversation about the economy – indeed this research shows that conversation is already happening.

“Voters expect responsible management of the economy and the fact is that the economic conditions of 2022 and budget projections over the forward estimates are vastly different to when these tax cuts for high income earners were first announced by Scott Morrison in 2018.

“The research shows the public want investment in quality, essential services like health and education far more than they want tax cuts for the rich.

“The message from voters is clear: this sort of reckless spending must stop.

“More than one third of Australians are still making up their minds about Stage 3, which indicates the debate is there to be won or lost based on the economic evidence and on what is fair,” Dr. Richard Denniss said.

The Stage 3 tax cuts are one policy area which will be discussed at the 2022 Revenue Summit at Parliament House aimed at tackling Australia’s revenue problem. The Australia Institute has been conducting research into the Stage 3 tax cuts since they were announced in 2018.

Summary on Stage 3 tax cuts:

Polling brief with polling methodology, long disclosure statement and margin of error are attached. The Australia Institute is an accredited member of the Australian Polling Council.

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