A new poll of 1,040 Victorians commissioned by free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs shows that lockdown restrictions are having a disproportionate effect on young Victorians, the self-employed, and the working classes defined as those earning under $100,000 a year.
“Young Victorians have been the hardest hit by both the employment and social crisis caused by the lockdown restrictions. The restrictions on economic activity combined with social isolation are depriving young Australians of the dignity of work and are negatively impacting their mental health,” said IPA Director of Policy Gideon Rozner.
The poll asked Victorians to agree or disagree with the statement, “I have either lost my job, had my hours cut, or had my pay cut, or someone I know has, as a result of the lockdown restrictions.” The results were:
- 47% agree
- 20% neither agree nor disagree
- 33% disagree
Agreement with the statement was significantly higher among the following groups:
- Young Victorians: 56% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 35 agreed compared to 43% of those over the age of 35.
- The self-employed: 65% of respondents who are self-employed agreed compared with 46% for those who work for someone else.
- The working and middle classes: 50% of respondents earning under $100,000 a year agreed compared to 37% of those earning over $100,000 a year.
“The heart and soul of mainstream Victoria, which is comprised of young Victorians, the hard working self-employed, and working Victorians, has been gutted by the lockdown restrictions,” said Mr Rozner.
“Self-employed Australians, who drive the economy by taking on risk and creating jobs, are on the front line of the economic crisis. The lockdown restrictions are damaging Australia’s entrepreneurial spirit and undermining the Australian way of life.”
“The employment crisis is not being equally felt across Australian society. High income earners appear to be disconnected from the suffering of medium to low income workers,” said Mr Rozner.
The poll also asked Victorians to agree or disagree with the statement, “Either myself or someone I know has had their mental health affected as a result of the lockdown restrictions.” The results were:
- 50% agree
- 25% neither agree nor disagree
- 26% disagree
Victorians between the ages of 18 and 24 were more likely to agree with the statement, with 60% agreeing compared to 48% of those over the age of 25.“We have an outrageous situation in Victoria where if you’re in an ‘intimate relationship’ with someone, you’re allowed to visit them, but you can’t visit your best friend for mental health reasons or your dad on father’s day,” said IPA Director of Policy Gideon Rozner.
The Institute of Public Affairs is calling for the Andrews Government to introduce a buddy system as happened in New Zealand, where Victorians would be allowed to visit a nominated friend or a parent.
Download the polling.