Tuesday, May 14th, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research

Day-to-day cost of living ranks as the most import issue among electors in middle and low income households, but those in high income households are up to three times more likely to call for lower taxes. 

Electors in high-income households are less likely than those in middle- or low-income households to rate cost-of-living as an important issue, but they are up to three times more likely to nominate tax reduction as personally important.

In Tuesday’s Federal Budget, it looks like Australians will soon be paying more (Medicare Levy), not paying less (no changes to Tax-Free threshold), not getting more more (ditto the Family Tax Benefit A), or paying less less (reduction of superannuation tax breaks).

The proportion of voters that cites tax reduction as one of the three most important issues to them rises, unsurprisingly, in line with household income (and potential tax liability): 22% of electors in households earning more than $200,000 per year, compared to 17% of those in middle-income households ($60-90,000pa) and just 7% of people in low-income households (under $30,000pa).

‘Keeping day to day living costs down’ is the highest ranked issue among electors in both low- and middle-income households, with 38% of each rating the issue as important. In middle-income households, the issue is important to more than twice as many electors as is tax reduction; in low-income households, it’s over five times as many.

But for those in high-income households, managing the economy is the number one issue, with cost of living in at 3rd, one step above tax reduction.

Compared to middle-income voters, those in high-income households are around 30% more like to rate tax reduction as important despite being almost 30% less likely to say cost of living is an issue.


Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“During the last Coalition Government, Australians became accustomed to election-year gratuities. Now, however, the Labor Government faces the task of convincing Australian voters why they have to pay more.

“It is interesting to note the correlation between our concern for economic management and tax reduction. Both rise in line with household income, indicating that concern for the economy is tied to how much tax we might have to pay. The assumption then becomes that ‘good’ economic management equals paying less tax, and that this attitude intensifies the higher up the pay scale we go.”


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia) January 2011 – December 2012, n = 87,416

Base: Australian electors

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