Financial pressures top Australia’s worry list in 2022

A separate poll called the Ipsos Issues Monitor, which asks a representative sample of the population to identify the top three challenges facing the nation, shows that four of the top five public concerns in December were financially related.

The cost of living was ranked as a top concern by 58 percent of respondents, the highest proportion of any issue in the survey’s 12-year history. The economy (33 percent), housing (31 percent) and gas prices (22 percent) were also among the top concerns.

Concerns about housing costs remain high despite a significant drop in house prices in 2022. In NSW, housing was the second biggest concern on Issues Monitor all year.

Gasoline prices climbed the worry list after February’s Russian invasion of Ukraine disrupted oil supplies and pushed prices higher. In July, almost one in three listed gas prices as their top concern, although the stock has declined since then.

Public concerns about financial pressures follow months of high inflation and a spate of rate hikes. The consumer price index hit 7.3 percent through September, its highest level since 1990. The Reserve Bank has tried to stem the tide of inflation with eight consecutive rate hikes since May, lifting the official interest rate to a 10-year high of 100 percent 3.1 Percent.


“Governments are aware of these voter concerns and have introduced things like fuel subsidies and price caps, but it’s doing little to help people right now,” Reed said.

While the cost of living tops the national list of concerns, opinion polls show that the environment and climate change are also public concerns.

The Resolve Political Monitor shows that for most of 2022, the environment and climate change were the second-highest government policy priority for voters. The environment has been ranked between the fourth and sixth highest concern on the Ipsos Issues Monitor for the past two years.

In late 2019, as bushfires raged and cities and towns were shrouded in smoke, the environment became the number one concern on Issues Monitor for the first time, but was trumped by health and economic concerns following the onset of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Morning Edition Newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here. Financial pressures top Australia’s worry list in 2022

Brian Lowry

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