Government performance ratings fall in leadup to Voice defeat, amid ongoing concern about living costs and housing

Amid rising housing, food, fuel and energy costs, cost of living remains the most important issue Australians want the Federal Government to focus on (56% unprompted mentions, up from 43%, and 81% prompted mentions, up from 75%). This is the leading concern across all age and income groups.

There is a sense that cost of living is now a challenge for ‘most’ households, impacting not just low-income earners but also middle Australia. People express frustration at increases in essential expenses outstripping rises in their income, limiting their ability to maintain their standard of living and to save for their future.

Housing and interest rates and hospitals, healthcare and ageing remain the next most important issues overall (56% prompted mentions of each). Amid rising rents, house prices and short-term resales, housing and interest rates remain the second highest unprompted concern (33%), ahead of health and ageing (25%).

After almost 18 months in Parliament and positive overall performance ratings, the Albanese Government now rates below ‘average’ with a performance index score of 48, down from 52 in June and similar to the Morrison Government’s final score of 47 prior to its May 2022 election loss.

Government performance on individual issues has also largely declined since June. Leading into the October 14th Voice referendum, its largest declines were on Indigenous issues, including the Voice, and vision and leadership (down five points and four points, respectively).

The Federal Government continues to make no headway on the top issues Australians want addressed, with performance ratings well below ‘average’ on cost of living (index score of 27, down from 29 in June), housing and interest rates (index score of 30) and hospitals, healthcare and ageing (index score of 40).

True Issues is a research tool to assist Australian businesses to understand where their issues truly sit within the contemporary issues landscape. This poll was conducted as an online survey between 6 – 9 October among a representative national sample of 1,000 Australians aged 18+ years. This is an excerpt from our latest True Issues report, to read the full report, click the link below.

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