Aussies Angry at PM Tony Abbott Over Deficit Tax; Broken Election Promise Causes Substantial Drop in Coalition’s Approval Rating

By @ibtimesau on
Tony Abbott
Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott (L) talks to a guest during a lunch meeting in Shanghai April 11, 2014. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott (L) talks to a guest during a lunch meeting in Shanghai April 11, 2014. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Although Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is insisting that his proposed deficit tax would not lead to a Julia Gillard moment, Aussie voters think otherwise.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that a new survey of over 4,000 voters made on May 3 found Aussies are angry at the PM with almost two-thirds of the opinion that he is breaking an electoral promise by pushing for a 1 per cent deficit tax on people earning more than $80,000 a year.

Another Coalition proposal, the doctor co-payment of $5-$15, was similarly seen by survey respondents as a broken election vow of Mr Abbott to ease pressure from cost of living.

As a result, more than 50 per cent of the respondents gave the prime minister poor or very poor rating, although Opposition leader Bill Shorten neither got good ratings since 42 per cent gave him also poor or very poor rating.

Barely 9 months in power, the deficit tax is causing the Coalition to lose voter approval that if an election would be held now, the party would likely not win as only 39 per cent of respondents said they would vote for the Coalition, down from 43 per cent in March and 45.5 per cent which the party got in the September election, according to another Galaxy poll commissioned by The Sunday Telegraph.

In contrast, the Labor party improved from 33.4 per cent in the last election to 37 per cent in March and May 2014.

In the first survey, it was discovered that voters would be willing to support a 2 per cent deficit tax for Aussies earning over $180,000 a year versus the 1 per cent tax on those earning $80,000 under the current proposal.

Shorten joined Aussie voters in calling the deficit tax a broken campaign promise and asking the Coalition to drop the idea. He said, "Increasing taxes on working-class and middle-class Australians is a terrible mistake and people will not forgive Mr Abbott for breaking this very big promise."

But Education Minister and House Leader Christopher Pyne said, "There's no easy way out from the debt and deficit disaster that Labor's left us ... but what we do has to be fair to everyone and it has to be right for the country."

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