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Australians Believe Economic and Financial Issues Are the Biggest Problems Facing Australia (33%, Unchanged) and the World (42%, down 4%); Biggest Single Problem is Politics/ Leadership/ Julia Gillard (17%, up 1%)

In late November 2012 Australians believe Economic & Financial issues are the most important set of problems facing Australia (33%, unchanged since July) and the World (42%, down 4%) according to the latest Roy Morgan Research. When asked about the most important problem facing Australia, Economic & Financial issues are named by 33% (unchanged since July 2012) including Economy, Economic problems & Interest Rates 13% (up 3%), Unemployment 5% (down 1%), Poverty, the Gap between the rich and the poor 3% (unchanged), Cost of Living 3% (up 1%), while disapproval of the Carbon Tax was mentioned by only 1% (down 3%).

In late November 2012 Australians believe Economic & Financial issues are the most important set of problems facing Australia (33%, unchanged since July) and the World (42%, down 4%) according to the latest Roy Morgan Research.

Australian views on Problems facing Australia

When asked about the most important problem facing Australia, Economic & Financial issues are named by 33% (unchanged since July 2012) including Economy, Economic problems & Interest Rates 13% (up 3%), Unemployment 5% (down 1%), Poverty, the Gap between the rich and the poor 3% (unchanged), Cost of Living 3% (up 1%), while disapproval of the Carbon Tax was mentioned by only 1% (down 3%).

A group of issues labelled Government Policy/ Immigration/ Human Rights are named by 18% (down 3%) of Australians including the related government policy issues of Refugees and asylum problems 12% (down 4%) and Immigration/ Immigration policy 3% (up 1%). However, the biggest single problem facing Australia is Politics/ Leadership/ Julia Gillard named by 17% (up 1%) as the most important problem facing Australia.

Environmental issues are mentioned by only 8% (down 4%) of Australians — (the lowest this issue has been since April 2006) as the most important problem facing Australia. The most important Environmental Issues mentioned are Climate Change/ Global Warming 3% (down 1%) and Other Environmental issues 2% (unchanged).

The single biggest issue for most States is the Politics/ Leadership/ Julia Gillard which is the biggest concern in New South Wales (19%), Victoria (16%), Queensland (17%) and Tasmania (25%). The Economy/ Economic problems/ Interest rates is a large issue in most States including Queensland (16%), Victoria (13%), New South Wales (12%), Western Australia (10%) and South Australia (10%).

Another notable concern is government policy towards Refugees and Asylum problems which is the biggest concern in Western Australia (19%). It is also a large concern in other States including New South Wales (10%), Victoria (11%) and Queensland (14%). Unemployment is one of the largest issues in South Australia (10%) and Victoria (9%).

Australian views on Problems facing the World

The biggest World problems are clearly Economic & Financial issues (42%, down 4% since July 2012), which however remains below the peak of 51% reached just over three years ago in May 2009. Within the broad group of Economic issues 18% (unchanged) mentioned the Economy/ Economic problems/ Interest rates ahead of Poverty, the Gap between rich and poor 11% (down 3%); Financial problems/ Money issues 4% (down 1%); Over-population 3% (down 1%) and Unemployment 2% (down 1%) as the most important Economic issues.

Environmental issues (mentioned by 17% of Australians, down 5%) are the next biggest problem facing the World today — the most important issue is still Climate Change/ Global warming 9% (down 1%) followed by Famine/ Food shortages 3% (down 4%) and Other Environmental Issues 3% (up 1%).

Terrorism/ Wars/ Security/ Safety was mentioned by 13% (up 6%), as the most important problem facing the World, 11% (up 3%) mentioned Social issues and a further 9% (up 1%) mentioned Government Policy/ Politics/ Leadership/ Julia Gillard.

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan says:

“This latest Roy Morgan Issues Research shows that Economic & Financial issues (33%, unchanged since July 2012) are the most important set of problems facing Australia. However, 17% (up 1%) mentioned Politics/ Leadership/ Julia Gillard — the single most mentioned problem facing Australia and a further 18% (down 3%) of Australians mentioned Government Policy/ Immigration/ Human Rights.

“Within these broader areas the issues of The Economy/ Economic problems/ Interest rates (13%, up 3%) and Refugees & Asylum problems (12%, down 4%) were mentioned by significant numbers of Australians.

“Economic Issues (42%, down 4%) are also still clearly the most important problem facing the World according to Australians. The most important problems are The Economy/ Economic problems/ Interest rates (18%, unchanged) and Poverty, & Gap between rich and poor (11%, down 3%). The next most important problem facing the World is Environmental Issues (17%, down 5%) led by Climate Change/ Global warming (9%, down 1%). Wars and conflicts (8%, up 4%) was also mentioned by many people — its highest since June 2011.”

These findings come from a special Roy Morgan telephone survey conducted in Australia on attitudes towards issues facing Australia and the World in the future.

In Australia, a cross-section of 622 men and women aged 14 or over were interviewed by telephone on the nights of November 27-29, 2012. Respondents were asked: “Firstly, what do you think is the most important problem facing the World today?” and “What do you think is the most important problem facing Australia today?”

The research conducted was both qualitative (in that people were asked to use their own words) and quantitative (in that the ‘open-ended’ responses were analysed and ‘coded’ so that the results could be counted and reported as percentages).