Over 55s feel overlooked by both parties, and will vote for the best of a bad lot.
The most recent IPSOS poll reveals that the majority of Australians feel Federal Budget 2019 is the fairest in years, but you can bet that over-55s don’t figure prominently in that group.
Twenty-four per cent of IPSOS pollsters said they were “worse off” from the sweeping income tax cuts and infrastructure spending announced in the budget, while 38 per cent believed they were “better off” from the economic plan.
Our own research reveals a different story for older Australians.
In fact, over-55s feel overlooked by both major parties, according to 38 per cent of the respondents to the YourLifeChoices’ Friday Flash Poll: Who do you trust?
Only 10 per cent feel both major parties’ budget measures look after the need of retirees and older people.
Of the two major parties, Labor comes out looking better, with 24 per cent of respondents saying they feel their needs will be covered by Labor budget measures, compared to the 22 per cent who are supportive of the Coalition’s measures.
Of the policies most likely to benefit older Australians, healthcare, including spending on cancer treatment, came out trumps, receiving 26 per cent of the vote. Aged care spending came in second (22 per cent), followed by Medicare (14 per cent), tax cuts (nine per cent) infrastructure and improved access to medicines (eight per cent each).
Superannuation changes will have little effect on the outcome of the election, with just five per cent saying tweaks to super will help them. However, some respondents said that age pension increases or changes to the income and assets test could possibly swing their vote.
When asked which party they typically prefer, 38 per cent of the 1758 respondents say they are typically Liberal voters, 31 per cent are Labor voters, six per cent vote for independents, five per cent choose One Nation, three per cent prefer the Greens and 10 per cent are swinging voters.
The Coalition is banking on trust as a major factor if it is to be re-elected. And if the poll results are anything to go by, this could be a good tactic. Thirty-six per cent of the Flash Poll respondents say they still trust the LNP to manage the country over 31 per cent who think Labor is trustworthy enough to take the reins. However, one in five say they don’t trust any party to run the country, highlighting the lack of confidence in the nation’s suite of politicians.
On this front, both parties seem to have black marks against their names.
“Politicians are only in it for what they can personally screw out of the system to feather their own nests. I have no faith or trust in any of them, especially the LNP who are full of washed-up wannabes and dinosaurs with no care for the country or its people except for their own miserable selves. Remember folks, politicians are there to serve us, not the other way around! A pox on both their houses!” wrote YourLifeChoices member Chaz.
“They don't realise people just don't trust politicians any more,” wrote Doc.
Some members still have hope.
“I am not so cynical to think that all politicians are evil. They are just people, not gods or robots. There are some decent ones among all the parties except perhaps PH [Pauline Hanson] who is not only not intelligent but hateful. The far-right ones are also not okay. Not all LNP are far right and among them there are some decent people. ALP presents the most united team with a better representation of women and some standout talent in their midst,” wrote Paddington.
So far, the LNP is being favoured by older Australians, with 35 per cent saying they will vote for the Coalition and 33 per cent for Labor. Independent politicians and the Greens could hold the balance of power, receiving six per cent and three per cent of the vote respectively. One Nation could also have some leverage, with five per cent of the vote. Eleven per cent are still undecided.
However, the Coalition faithful have conceded the fight, with half of all respondents saying they think Labor will win the next federal election. Only 25 per cent think the Libs can hold on. The Nationals did not receive a single vote and 22 per cent are on the fence.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has not yet announced an election date, but the big money is on 18 May as the day Australians will go to the polls. While Mr Morrison is clearly the preferred PM, leading by 46 to 35 per cent over Bill Shorten in the IPSOS poll, his party faces an uphill battle to be returned, with the same poll showing the Libs trailing Labor 47-53 per cent.
Many feel that politicians are out of touch with the plight of older Australians, yet, when it comes to election time, they will be backed into a corner and have to choose the lesser of two evils.
“It’s a case of picking the best of the worst. This Government has been a pack of self-serving, fractured incompetents. If they can’t get along with each other cohesively how can we expect them to run a successful government. The pensioners, forgotten, the low-income earners, forgotten. People are doing it very tough and this lot have no idea how hard because they’re so busy looking after themselves and still filling their mouths with the silver spoon, paid for by the very taxpayers they’re rooting. $75-$125 for pensioners for power; they’ve had a 10 per cent pay rise this year. Go figure!” wrote Jansview.
“I would prefer to trust someone who has the people of Australia in mind, not their own hip pocket. But then again, it would happen to them also once in power, so it becomes the same, same over again. These pollies have no idea of how local Australians are suffering from all their mistakes. Roll on the election!” wrote ronloby.
And yet, regardless of the lack of trust for the two major parties, post-election, one of them will be seated on the pointy end of the mace.
“One party or the other will get your vote as that's how the system works,” wrote Old Geezer.
Do you feel that you will have to vote for ‘the best of a bad lot’? What can be done about our system of democracy? Or do you feel that it is what it is?