Most Australians think businesses will pocket company tax cuts – poll

Gabrielle Chan
Asked what the likely result of the tax cuts would be, 57% of those polled said companies would make bigger profits. Photograph: Jamie Farrant/Getty Images

Most people think businesses will pocket company tax cuts rather than employ more workers, and more people disapprove of the decision to give $24bn worth of tax cuts to businesses with annual turnover of up to $50m.

The latest Guardian Essential poll, taken a week after the government negotiated part of its company tax cut package through the Senate, found only 31% of people polled approved of the company tax cut compared with 50% who disapproved, while 19% did not know.

While the tax cuts appealed to a majority of Coalition voters (59% approved), people who identified with minor parties such as One Nation and Nick Xenophon were more evenly split. A total of 52% disapproved of the tax cut while 34% approved, with 13% unsure.

Asked what the likely result of the tax cuts would be, 57% said companies would make bigger profits while 26% said companies would employ more people, with 17% unclear.

For people identifying with parties other than the Coalition, Labor and the Greens, those numbers were more emphatic. A total of 61% said companies would make bigger profits and 25% said they would employ more workers.

Among Coalition voters, 41% believed companies would make more profits while 49% believed businesses would employ more workers.

For Labor voters, 73% believed business would pocket the difference as opposed to employing more workers (14%) and for Greens voters it was even higher (78% for more profits, 8% for employing workers).

At the same time, energy prices, housing affordability and political representation are at the top of a list of issues which most people feel are leaving them worse off.

Asked about a range of issues getting worse or better, people overwhelmingly feel worse off regarding standard of living, work-life balance, income, job security, quality of life and political representation.

Rising energy prices are leaving most respondents feeling worse off (74%), followed by housing affordability (62%) and political representation (60%). No more than a total of 17% (regarding work life balance and quality of life) felt better off in any of the categories polled.

The poll found no change in first-preference votes on the previous week with the Coalition on 37%, Labor on 36%, the Greens on 10%, One Nation on 8%, Nick Xenophon on 3% and others/independents on 6%. The two-party-preferred vote was unchanged, with Labor leading the Coalition 53% to 47%.

The approval ratings of both leaders improved marginally, though both remain in negative territory. Malcolm Turnbull’s net approval rating improving from minus 17 to minus 12 and Bill Shorten went from minus 19 to minus 13.

Turnbull’s approval rating was up 2% in the past four weeks to 35% while 47% disapproved, a drop of 3%. His rating has improved among Coalition voters, with 74% (up 7%) of Liberal/National voters approving of his performance and 18% disapproving (down 3%).

For voters who identified with parties other than the Coalition, Labor and the Greens, Turnbull’s approval ratings were broadly in line with Labor voters. Among Labor voters 20% approved of his performance, while 65% disapproved. Among “other” voters, 19% approved of his performance while 68% disapproved.

Shorten’s approval rating was up 3% to 33% while 46% disapproved, down 3%. Like Turnbull, Shorten has a low standing among “other” voters – 14% approved of his performance and 68% disapproved.

The survey was conducted online between 6 and 9 April and is based on 1,015 respondents.

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