A recent study by Ipsos and MasterCard has shown Australians are very concerned about the state of the domestic economy. This concern is the driving force behind the lowest consumer confidence figures since 2009. These figures (somewhat ironically) are causing people to reduce their spending which brings about a poor Australian economy.

Dircetor of research at Ipsos, Laura Demasi, believed, “A lot of it is perception. We hear constantly about anxiety around job security. There are structural changes in the Australian economy and that’s resulted in mass lay-offs and the increasing casualisatin of the workforce. And there’s a perception of the increase in 457 visas.

“Everyone knows someone who has been made redundant and then they hear the rhetoric from the government about the economy, it’s not hard to see why people are worried when you put ll those things together. Some of it is real and some of it is perceived. There’s a sense of unease about their long-term prospects.”

Australians, the study found, felt let down by the current federal government. Many reported a sense of optimisim when Tony Abbott took charge. But that optimism hasn’t been repaid.

Several members of the government have talked-down the economy, which has had a hugely destabilising effect. The end of the mining boom the struggles of agriculture and the slowdown of manufacturing have all contributed to the current bleak outlook.

On top of this the hoped-for new jobs in technology don’t seem to have appeared. Tis may b as a result of their being none or that jobseekers simply don’t qualify for positions in this emerging industry.

Most worrying of all, says Ms Demasi, is the growing resentment (and misunderstanding) of what has come to be known as ‘middle-class welfare’.

“Except for the paid parental leave, there was generally an overall feeling of resentment against giving hand-outs to people who didn’t need them. But they’re not sure what they’re angry about.” And this was because most of those interviewed couldn’t actually name the policies they objected to.

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