Tuesday 2nd June 2015 - 7:43 am

Government’s post budget support crumbling

by Alan Thornhill

Tony Abbott woke this morning to find the post budget surge in support for his government among both voters and business crumbling.

A Morgan poll, published today, showed Labor’s support, on a two party preferred basis, rising 2 per cent to 53 per cent, to the government’s 47 per cent.

That would put Labor clearly ahead, if an election was held now.

And a Dun&Bradstreet survey showed that business expectations for the start of the next financial year have dropped sharply despite business friendly concessions in last month’s Federal Budget.

The Prime Minister, though, will find some consolation in the results of the latest Newspoll.

It shows Tony Abbott now enjoys a stronger overall approval rating than Bill Shorten.

Gary Morgan said:” The ‘Budget Bounce’ for the Coalition Government has proved short-lived.”

He attributed Labor’s revival, largely, to Bill Shorten’s moves to support marriage equality.

He noted that gay marriage had been supported, overwhelmingly, in Ireland’s recent referendum.

And he added:”A Roy Morgan poll conducted in 2011 found an even larger majority of Australians – 68 per cent – support the right of gay people to get married compared to only 30 per cent who think they shouldn’t have this right.”

The government will be bitterly disappointed by the results of the D&B survey.

The Treasurer, Joe Hockey, in particular, has been making much of the enthusiastic response he says he has encountered, to the government’s $5.5 billion worth of tax cuts for small business, which he announced in last month’s budget.

But the D&B survey of Business Expectations showed that the expectations of business executives are weak.

D&B said executives had returned a weak third quarter outlook on their expected sales, profits, investments and employment levels.

This took the Business Expectations Index down to 13.4 points from 20.7 points in the previous quarter and 19.5 points at the same time last year.

“The sharp drop in third quarter expectations confirms that businesses are looking beyond this year for support from an economy that is growing at less than three per cent,” D&B said in a statement.

“Concerns about the current and short-term potential of the Australian economy were reinforced by last week’s capital expenditure numbers from the ABS, which showed a seasonally-adjusted 4.4 per cent drop in Q1 2015,” it added.

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Alan Thornhill

Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.

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