Voters have voiced approval for looming changes to tax cuts, but federal politicians are doing their best to play down the polling.
Almost two in three people surveyed by Newspoll said the prime minister made the right decision to amend stage three tax cuts, while 29 per cent said the original plan should have remained untouched.
Under the changes, people earning less than $150,000 will receive a greater tax cut than under the original proposal, while those earning above it will still get a tax cut, albeit less than first promised.
Despite support for the updated tax package, less than two in five respondents said they would be better off under the changes.
The tax issue did not impact the overall poll, with Labor still leading the coalition 52 to 48 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers will introduce legislation to revise the tax cuts when parliament resumes on Tuesday.
“We don’t need polls to tell us people will welcome extra assistance with cost of living pressures,” he told reporters in Canberra.
“This has never been about the politics or polls or punditry, this is about real people and the pressure they are under.
“What we’ve done here is put people before politics and people are recognising that.”
Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce said the tax changes represented a broken promise by the prime minister.
“He went along and said his word was his bond, and then he changed his (word),” Mr Joyce said.
“The polling didn’t go up … everyone recognises straight away he still didn’t tell the truth.”
The coalition has yet to indicate whether it will support the tax changes when the laws come before parliament.
Finance Minister Katy Gallagher said people had been responsive to the proposed tax changes but played down the polling.
“People are up for a rational and reasonable discussion,” Senator Gallagher said.
“We made this decision based on putting people before politics.
“It was really about what more could we do to provide relief when people are doing it tough, particularly middle and low-income Australians.”
The prime minister maintained his lead over Peter Dutton as preferred leader, ahead by 56 per cent to 35 per cent in the latest Newspoll.
While Labor’s primary vote was up one percentage point to 34 per cent, it remained behind the coalition on 36 per cent.
The Greens’ primary vote dropped one point to 12 per cent and One Nation’s was unchanged at seven per cent while the independents and minor parties remained at 11 per cent.
The poll of 1245 voters was conducted between January 31 and February 3.
Andrew Brown and Suzanne Simonot
(Australian Associated Press)