What Aussies want Frydenberg to do
IT'S stimulus over surplus for a big majority of voters worried by limping economic growth.
That's the finding from the Australia Institute's poll of voter priorities, as growth figures show the national economy is in need of measures to pep up performance.
The survey found 72 per cent of respondents said the surplus promised in the April Budget by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg should be sacrificed if we're heading into a recession.
And cramped wage growth was also a concern, with 58 per cent wanting a bigger pay packet over a lower tax rate.
The online survey was conducted in the week to July 30, before the release of low gross domestic product figures yesterday.
The 1464 voters had been asked: "If there is a risk of a recession, which should the government prioritise - stimulating economic growth or delivering a budget surplus on time?"
The surplus was backed by a minority - 25 per cent - of middle-incomes households earning from $60,000 to $80,000 a year.
Just 11 per cent of high-income earners on more than $200,000 were keen for a surplus.
Official figures yesterday showed the national economy was growing at just 1.4 per cent a year to the end of the June quarter.
The government is confident of a better set of figures for the September quarter, hoping that two interest rate cuts and a round of tax rebates boost spending.
And it's hoping sped-up infrastructure projects with the states will create new jobs and lift incomes.
"The surplus is a key part of the Government's economic plan," Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters today at the launch of a $160 million project with the South Australian Government.
Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the Coalition had to do more than hope things would get better.
"People are worried about very stagnant wages, household debt is at record highs, household savings took a hit in the numbers that were released yesterday and the government's in denial about all of that," Mr Chalmers told ABC Radio today.
The issue of pay movements was clear in the Australia Institute survey, with a majority in most income groups wanting a wage rise over a tax cut.
Only high-income earners - those in the top tax bracket - favoured a tax cut, with 50 per cent in favour. That compared to 43 per cent who are after a wage rise.
By comparison, 63 per cent of households on $20,000 or less went for a bigger wage.
And 48 per cent said a better boost to the economy would be an increase in Newstart payments for the unemployed.