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'Asia is laughing at us'

The proposed deregulation of universities, and the changes to HECS, haven't been properly thought through, according to Independent Senator Nick Xenophon.

PT3M1S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-391al 620 349

Voters are maintaining their rage over the federal budget, a big majority branding it unfair and believing it will increase cost-of-living pressures and make it harder for the young to find jobs.

Seventy per cent of voters do not believe the budget shares the burden of spending cuts, benefit changes and tax increases equally, says the Ipsos I-view Omnibus survey taken in the past week. Just 19 per cent say the burden is shared.

This is an increase from the 63 per cent of voters who considered the budget unfair when asked in the Nielsen-Fairfax Media Poll taken immediately after the budget was handed down.

The Woolworths Ltd. logo is displayed on a reusable shopping bag at a self-service checkout counter at one of the company's supermarkets in Perth, Australia, on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012. Woolworths, Australia's largest retailer, is scheduled to announce full-year earnings on Aug. 24. Photographer: Sergio Dionisio/Bloomberg

Rise: Most people believe the budget will increase the cost of living. Photo: Bloomberg

It is even higher among older voters, 75 per cent of those over 50 saying the burden is not shared equally.

Rather than instil economic confidence, the Ipsos survey shows 58 per cent of voters believe the budget will leave the economy either the same or in a worse position in three years.

Only 25 per cent believe it will leave the economy in a better position.

Eighty-two per cent believe the cost of living will rise as a result of the budget, 8 per cent saying it will have no effect and 3 per cent predicting the cost of living will fall.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott's ratings have also dipped further from the lows of the immediate post-budget polls, with Ipsos showing 66 per cent of voters are dissatisfied with his performance, compared with 62 per cent in the post-budget Nielsen Poll and 60 per cent in Newspoll.

He also trails Opposition Leader Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister by eight points, roughly the same margin as in the Nielsen Poll (nine) and Newspoll (10).

Two out of three believe the measures affecting young people - including the deregulation of university fees and the six-month delay in being able to receive dole payments - will have a negative effect on their ability to get into the workforce.

Sixty-nine per cent agreed that the budget measures were out of line with what was promised by the Coalition before last year's election.

Ipsos public affairs director David Elliott said the negative economic sentiment was not overly surprising, saying Australians' concerns about the economy had doubled over the past 12 months.

At the same time, national anxiety about unemployment had risen to 26 per cent from 19 per cent, he said.

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