What are your biggest concerns?
That's the question Roy Morgan Research asked Australians and they found that in mid-2017, 38% of us believe the economy or some kind of economic issue to be the most important problem facing Australia.
This is 3% higher than in March 2017 although down 4% compared to a year ago in mid-2016.
Economic issues were mentioned by more Australians than the next three sets of issues combined.
- 13% mentioned Religion, Immigration and Human Rights issues; 12% mentioned Government, Politics and Leadership issues;
- 10% mentioned Climate change or another Environmental issue and
- 10% mentioned a Social issue like Education, Crime, Drugs and drug abuse and Welfare.
Within the group of Economic & Financial issues the most important issues are:
- Unemployment mentioned by 9% of respondents:
Unemployment verbatim comments ranged from the simple lack of jobs and jobs available, the lack of employment opportunities available for younger people, to the problems with immigration impacting on availability of jobs and the threat posed by robots to manufacturing jobs.
- The Economy in general and Interest rates mentioned by 8% of respondents:
Verbatim comments about this theme were centred around concerns about the Australian economy with the high debt and deficit a recurring theme, general economic problems, the lack of industries in Australia and the way the Australian economy depends on global economic conditions; and
- Housing affordability which was mentioned by 6% of respondents:
Housing affordability verbatim comments referred to the soaring house prices and the growing gap between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ as well as the overseas buyers pushing up prices in the housing market.
Most Important Economic Problems Facing Australia
Source: Roy Morgan interviewed a representative cross-section of 648 Australians in May 2017.
Other Economic issues mentioned by 2% - 4% of respondents included Poverty and the gap between rich and poor on 4%, Cost of living, rising prices and inflation on 2%, Federal Budget on 2% and Homelessness and lack of housing on 2%.
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Some 6% of respondents gave a broad range of economically related issues including General taxation, Banks and Bank interest rates, Financial or money problems, General Infrastructure: Energy, Water, Internet etc., Globalisation and fairer world trade, Over-population, Over-reliance on Mining industry and the impact of mining and Farming, cut food imports and support our farmers.
Analysing the question by Federal voting intention shows a very different pattern of concerns for the different party supporters.
First 49% of L-NP supporters nominate an Economic issue as the biggest problem facing Australia – clearly higher than the national average while ALP supporters (39%) are almost in line with the broader community and only 24% of Greens supporters nominate Economic issues as the most important problems facing Australia.
L-NP supporters clearly regard The Economy in general and Interest rates (15%) as the biggest problem facing Australia ahead of Unemployment (12%) and Housing affordability (5%).
ALP supporters regard Unemployment (10%) as the biggest problem ahead of Housing affordability (7%) and are evenly split on the third most important problem with 4% nominating The Economy in general and interest rates, Cost of living, rising prices and inflation, Poverty and the gap between rich and poor and the Federal Budget.
In contrast to supporters of the two larger parties Greens supporters easily regard Poverty and the gap between rich and poor as the most important Economic issue facing Australia (11%) more than double the response for Unemployment (5%) and Housing affordability (4%).
Most Important Problem Facing Australia – Economic Issues by Voting Intention
|The Economy in general and Interest rates||7.5||14.6||3.6||-||9.0||1.3|
|Poverty and the gap between rich and poor||3.7||2.0||4.3||10.8||4.0||1.3|
|Cost of living, rising prices and inflation||2.1||2.0||4.4||-||-||-|
|Homelessness and lack of housing||1.9||0.8||3.3||0.5||1.6||4.5|
|Total Other Economic Issues||6.0||9.0||5.3||4.1||4.7||1.8|
|Comprising of the below:|
|General taxation – Mining tax, Resource tax etc.||1.4||2.5||1.6||-||1.0||-|
|General infrastructure: Energy, Water , Internet etc.||1.3||1.0||1.2||3.0||1.3||-|
|Over-reliance on mining and the impact of mining||1.3||2.3||0.4||1.1||-||1.8|
|Globalisation and fairer world trade||0.5||1.0||-||-||-||-|
|Financial or money problems||0.4||0.5||0.7||-||-||-|
|Banks and Bank interest rates||0.3||0.4||0.8||-||-||-|
|Farming, cut food imports and support our farmers||0.3||0.9||-||-||-||-|
|TOTAL ECONOMIC/ FINANCIAL ISSUES||37.9||49.0||39.1||24.3||36.4||30.7|
Source: Roy Morgan