True cost of the carbon tax

THERE has been a sharp rise in the number of people feeling the effects of the carbon tax, research has shown.

This week's Essential Report showed 69% of the 1043 people polled said they had noticed an increase in costs since the carbon price came into effect on July 1 - a jump of 17% since the question was last asked on August 20.

The number of people who said they had not noticed any cost increases dropped 12 points to 24%.

Of those who said there had been an increase, Essential broke this number into three sub-categories - those who had noticed a large, moderate or small increase.

Using this measure, 22% said there had been a large increase, 27% moderate and 20% small.

Interestingly, support for the carbon tax grew since June, while those opposing the measure dropped.

On June 25, Essential found just 35% of people were in favour of carbon pricing, while 54% were opposed.

The latest survey shows 38% support the carbon tax and 48% are against it.

Support for the tax has barely moved since March last year, when just 25% were in favour of its implementation.

In his statement announcing the cut to the cash rate on Tuesday Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens said the carbon price was "affecting consumer prices in the current quarter, and this will continue over the next couple of quarters".

Meanwhile, Labor's electoral fortunes improved slightly in the poll.

The government's primary vote was up one point to 36% - 2% less than the vote it achieved at the 2010 election - while support for the Coalition fell by the same margin to 47%.

Labor's two-party-preferred vote rose two points to 47%.

The Coalition still holds an election-winning 53-47% lead, although its 2PP vote was down two points on last week.

Essential conducted the poll between Wednesday and Sunday, so the Alan Jones scandal was unlikely to have influenced the results dramatically.

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