Few approve of budget

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Few approve of budget

Approval highest among seniors, the wealthy and males

TORONTO April 23rd, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 977 Canadian voters, less than 3-in-10 (29%) approve of the budget, while as many as 4-in-10 (40%) disapprove. One third do not know enough about it to form an opinion (31%). Approval is common to the oldest (65+ - 38%), males (33%), lower income groups ($20K to $40K - 32%) and the wealthy ($80K to $100K - 33%, $100K to $250K - 29%), in Quebec (34%) and Alberta (33%), among Conservative voters (66%) and the best educated (post grad - 32%). Disapproval is highest among mid income groups ($60K to $80K - 47%), in Atlantic Canada (45%) and BC (51%), among Liberals (53%) and New Democrats (57%) and Greens (55%) and among the best educated (post grad - 45%).

3-in-10 less likely to vote Conservative because of budget, fewer more likely to do so

Three-in-ten voters are less likely to vote Conservative because of this budget (31%), while fewer than a quarter are more likely to vote Conservative (23%). Four-in-ten will not change their vote one way or another because of this budget (42%), and few don’t have an opinion (4%). Being more likely to vote Conservative is common to the oldest (29%), the wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 26%), in Alberta (29%), among the least educated (26%) and those with children in the home (29%). Being less likely to vote for the governing party is common to those in mid income groups ($40K to $60K - 40%, $60K to $80K - 36%), the least educated (34%) and the best educated (post grad - 34%) and those with no children (36%).

Voters like elements of budget better than budget itself

While just 3-in-10 approve of the budget overall (29%), elements which were tested proved more popular. Highest approval (88%) is for the caretaker leave extension, which is especially popular in Atlantic Canada (95%) and among Francophones (93%).

The next in approval is the extension of the Universal Child Care Benefit from young children to teens, and additional funding (68% approval). This is especially well-liked by the least wealthy (72%), Conservatives (78%) and mothers with children (82%).

Rounding out the top three budget measures is funding for transit (67%), popular among the youngest (72%) and the wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 72%), in the prairies (73%) and Alberta (74%) and among New Democrats (73%).

Other budget measures tested for approval include income splitting for families with children under 18 (65% approval), especially among the less wealthy ($20K to $40K - 72%), Conservatives (76%) and mothers of kids under 18 (75%).

Just more than 6-in-10 approve of the increase in the TFSA limit (61%), and this is characteristic of those who have TFSAs (68%), as well as the wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 66%), in Alberta (70%), among Conservatives (80%) and college graduates (68%).

Least popular among voters in general, is the relaxation of RRIF withdrawal rules (51% approval), but this approval is especially characteristic of those it targets, seniors 71 and older (65+ - 67%), the wealthiest ($80K to $100K - 60%, $100K to $250K - 62%), in the prairies (60%) and Alberta (58%), among Conservatives (69%) and the best educated (57%).

More see budget as bad for economy than see it as good.

One quarter of voters agree the budget is bad for the economy (25%) and one fifth say it is good for it (20%), while 4-in-10 insist it is neither (43%). One tenth don’t know (12%). Thinking the budget bad for the economy is characteristic of the wealthy ($80k to $100K - 33%), in Atlantic Canada (33%), not in the prairies (16%) and among New Democrats (40%) and the best educated (36%). Thinking the budget will be good for the economy is characteristic of the oldest (27%) males (26%).

“This budget is a game of darts where every target got hit, and responded. The seniors like the RRIF adjustment tailored for them, families with children like their expanded child care benefit and income splitting and those who invest like the TFSA increase. Nonetheless, voters as a whole don’t think much of the budget as a whole, and there is little confidence it will be good for the economy. Its biggest fans happen to be those the opposition parties predicted: seniors and the wealthy," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at lbozinoff@forumresearch.com or at (416) 960-9603.