PM Tony Abbott Shrugs Off Poor Results in Latest Polls; Australians Feel 'Worse Off' with New Budget

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By Reissa Su | May 20, 2014 1:35 PM EST

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has dismissed the results of the latest poll revealing a decline in public support due to the latest federal budget revelations. He said he is only doing his job and what's best for Australia. Mr Abbott said he was not out to win a popularity contest.

REUTERS/Parker Song/Pool
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (C) talks to Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, April 11, 2014. REUTERS/Parker Song/Pool

In an interview with ABC radio, Mr Abbott said he never said "it was going to be easy." He cited the Howard government as the last one to take a big hit in the polls because of a "very tough budget."

Australia's Budget 2014 was described by poll voters as the "worst" federal budget in over 20 years. The results of The Australian's poll revealed that 69 per cent of Australians feel they will be worse off under Treasurer Joe Hockey's budget.

Those who think they were the worst off earned only $50,000 to $90,000 a year. The survey also showed only 39 per cent of respondents believe the new budget will bring good to the country.

A poll by News Corp also showed the new budget has left three-fourth of Australians feeling worse off. Only 11 per cent of respondents felt optimistic towards the budget. The Abbott government's budget is expected to be a huge blow to pensioners, families, single parents and high income earners. According to Galaxy pollster David Briggs, the latest poll results were the worst he has ever seen compared to any budget released by Australia's former prime ministers Howard, Costello, Rudd and Swann.

The Coalition's primary vote has dropped from 38 to 36 per cent while Labour and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten took a 10-point over Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

In an official response to the government's budget, Shorten had described Mr Abbott as a hard-right conservative who had officially launched extreme policies with a major impact on Australians. Shorten told Parliament that it was only just the beginning as Mr Abbott will turn the country into a "colder, meaner and narrower place."

The Labour party is expected to take a stand against the federal budget's $7 Medicare co-payment, changes to age pension and the indexation of petrol excise. Shorten had ignored the demands of ministers to outline his own plans to reduce the budget deficit and pay for pensions and other long-term programs affecting mostly families. 

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(Photo: REUTERS/Parker Song/Pool / )
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (C) talks to Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, April 11, 2014. REUTERS/Parker Song/Pool
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