Renters are more concerned about health than they are housing affordability when it comes to areas of priority in the May budget, new research from reveals.

But housing affordability is still an important issue, almost equalling energy and education funding as a priority.


Renters were asked to rate key areas such as economy, housing, infrastructure, health, welfare, education, small business and energy in terms of importance to them as part of’s 2017 Federal Budget survey in May.

Key budget priorities

The polling by showed most Australian renters believed funding for hospitals and Medicare should be a key priority moving forward. Despite much discussion around housing affordability in the lead up to May 9 budget, the poll found people regard Health as their main priority. Of the eight priorities tested, health received majority support among the 1,300-people surveyed.

Scale: Most important: 1, Least important: 5
Averaged result

  • Health 1.53
  • Housing 1.61
  • Energy 1.82
  • Education 1.89
  • Welfare 2.08
  • Economy: 2.15
  • Infrastructure 2.25
  • Small business 2.51

The 2017 Federal Budget survey was sent to a sample of Australian renters. With around 1,300 responses received, the survey covered three key areas: Budget awareness, understanding and key priorities.

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On the Federal Budget announcement

Renters were asked to react to the announcement that from July 1, savers will be able to salary sacrifice extra contributions into their superannuation account above the compulsory contribution, up to a maximum of $30,000 in total and $15,000 in a single year. Couples can put in a total of $60,000. *on average renters should be better off by around $6,000 compared to a savings account.

41% of respondents said they were aged between 40-55, versus the 36% of renters aged 55+, and 21% between 25-39. Just 2% of respondents were aged 18-24. Overall, 35% of respondents indicated their location as New South Wales (35%), followed by Queensland (28%) and Victoria (19%).

To ascertain their understanding of the outcome of the 2017 Federal Budget, renters were asked about their awareness of the budget. 74% said they were aware that the budget had been handed down, while 26% were unaware of the news, and as such, did not complete the survey.

Renters indicated some knowledge of the decision made to assist first home buyers, but a small variation in responses showed the specifics were still uncertain. 34% of participants thought the latest announcement meant they could now ask their employer to increase their salary sacrifice contributions, while 33% recognised the news meant they could dip into their superannuation to pay for a deposit.

Participants in the May survey were asked about their thoughts on the announced superannuation scheme for first home buyers. More than half (56%) of respondents said the announcement made no difference to their situation, feeling home ownership remained out of reach, while a similarly high 30% said the announcement was irrelevant to them. Only 14% of those who responded said the budget announcement was a positive move and would help them save for a house.

Renters ‘left out’ of the budget

Survey participant Donna, from New South Wales said none of the decisions made in the 2017 Federal Budget were helpful to renters.

“It’s always the first home buyers. But the fact is that home buying is fast becoming out of the question for most and this will only make renting that much harder and dearer in the future. For single income people like myself, this is a big worry about how we are going to live,” she said.

What did you think about the 2017 Federal Budget? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.


  1. Poor quality housing equals poor health. High living costs and associated stress equals poor health.
    No wonder health is at the top of the list.
    Minimum building standards and good design are required more than ever.

  2. How can the govt expect pensioners to pay half of their pension just on rent?
    Now that SA pays the highest electricity prices in the world that’s going to take a huge chunk out of it as well then there’s food (which will be going up), car, medication and incidentals!
    I’m not willing to live in a dogbox and freeze to death!

    Btw yes I’m on the pension.