Self-interest and the Budget

A small postcript to my post on self-interest and public opinion. All three polls on the Budget – Galaxy yesterday, and ACNielsen and Newspoll today, find very similar proportions of people saying the Budget will make them worse off (33%/30%/32%) or make no difference/uncommitted (44%/39%/39%).

However, ACNielsen finds 61% of people declaring themselves satisfied with the Budget and 57% saying it was ‘fair’. At least some voters who don’t think they will get anything from the Budget or perhaps even think they will be worse off are nevertheless not unhappy with it.

4 Responses to “Self-interest and the Budget

  • 1
    Spiros
    May 21st, 2008 10:22

    Given what was in the budget, how is it possible, objectively, for 1/3 of people to be worse off?

    To begin with, everyone with an income is getting a tax cut.

    Now it’s true that people who drink alcopops will pay more tax on that drink, and the tax on luxury cars is going up. and people earning >$100K who were thinking of putting solar panels on their roof won’t get the subsidy they were hoping for, etc and maybe all this adds up top more than the income tax cut for some people.

    But not many people, surely.

    Swan seems to have overachieved. He told us some many times that it would be a tough budget, people believed him, without looking at what was actually in it.

  • 2
    Sinclair Davidson
    May 21st, 2008 10:50

    Picking up on Spiros’ point: Swan delivered a very different budget to what was advertised (and people seem to have believed the ad more than the actual product). If a private sector organisation acted in the same way, the regulators would be crawling all over them and hefty fines and life time bans, if not gaol terms, would be handed out.

  • 3
    Andrew Norton
    May 21st, 2008 11:57

    Spiros – Even last years’s near loser-free budget had 14% saying they were worse off. There are probably partisan biases at work here along with misunderstandings based on ‘tough’ rhetoric.

  • 4
    pommygranate
    May 22nd, 2008 17:04

    i agree with spiros. there just aint no pleasin’ some folk.