Federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg has handed down the most well received budget since the era of John Howard and Peter Costello, but has missed the mark in giving the government a pre-election boost.

According to an exclusive Newspoll conducted for The Australian voters overall approval of last Tuesday's budget, with 44 per cent claiming the government's spending spree will help kickstart the economy as it enters a post-COVID-19 recovery.

 

Josh Frydenberg Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Geraghty
Josh Frydenberg Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Geraghty

 

 

But voters were divided - 19 per cent each way - on whether they were personally better or worse off under the budget which delivered tax breaks for lower and middle-income earners and small businesses, along with spending on aged-care and mental health.

A record 62 per cent of people could not say whether they would be better or worse off.

Only 15 per cent of voters disapproved of the budget but its popularity does not equate to an upswing in support for the Coalition.

Labor is steady with its 51 to 49 two-party-preferred lead while the Coalition remains on an unchanged primary vote of 41 per cent.

But Labor dropped two points to 36 per cent, with Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese also suffering a fall in support.

Australian Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese has suffered a slight drop in support according to the latest Newspoll. Picture: Ebony Graveur
Australian Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese has suffered a slight drop in support according to the latest Newspoll. Picture: Ebony Graveur

Mr Albanese also suffered a drop in personal approval ratings, with dissatisfaction in his performance as Opposition Leader rising three points to 46 per cent.

Approval for the left-wing Greens rose from 10 per cent to a post-election high of 12 per cent.

Scott Morrison also suffered a two-point fall in net approval, with his satisfaction rating falling one point to 58 per cent and dissatisfaction rating rising a point to 38 per cent.

But Mr Morrison is still preferred prime minister despite dropping a point to 55 per cent, and

Mr Albanese remained unchanged at 30 per cent.

The Coalition seems to have rebounded from the damage done by the rape allegations which saw its lowest level in the polls since the bushfire crisis.

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Picture: Adam Taylor
Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Picture: Adam Taylor

 

Speaking at an engineering company in Gladstone on Sunday, Mr Morrison said the budget was about keeping the "momentum of our domestic economy moving" and "supporting Australians to be in jobs".

Mr Frydenberg said the point of the budget was to provide relief for Australians and accelerate the economy.

"We can't take our foot off the accelerator," Mr Frydenberg said in Melbourne.

"So we've continued to do the things that have actually worked, providing more incentives for businesses to invest, and of course, providing Australians with more of their hard earned money with tax relief, including this Low and Middle Income Tax Offset.

"But the key point is, we're still in the middle of the pandemic. We can't take the gains we've made for granted. We must lock them in."

Mr Albanese has said the budget was a bid to win the next election and warned voters that the Coalition would cut spending later on.

"We know from this government, just like we saw in 2014 when it first came to office, that they will make cuts, they will return to type. What they're saying is they've suspended their ideology for the current period. What they are really trying to do is to just get through to the next election," he said.

Originally published as Newspoll: Best budget since Costello era

Peter Costello and John Howard Picture: Ray Strange.
Peter Costello and John Howard Picture: Ray Strange.


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