What do Australians think of Jim Chalmers’ budget?

We spoke to people about their thoughts and concerns ahead of the budget, and then spoke to them immediately after it was delivered to gauge their response.

Here’s what they had to say.

Gonzalo Kaempfe

IT industry, 30s
Income band: More than $180,000

Credit:Photo: James Brickwood

“My main concern at this point is a recession, and no one seems to be doing enough to cushion the economy from it. The worse inflation is, the bigger the chances of having a recession. More needs to be done to reduce the electricity prices at a national level to reduce the chances of having a recession. The government needs to be very careful on spending as spending increases inflation.”

Budget reaction: “It seems to be going in the right direction because they are trying not to spend too much and worsen inflation and they are trying to focus on where the problems are. So let’s hope it’s enough to avoid a recession.”

Annie Burrett

Bartender/student, 22
Income band: $18,000 to $45,000

Credit:Photo: Rhett Wyman

“Because I work in hospitality and I am a casual worker, if it’s bad weather my shift will just be cancelled two hours before I go to work … I have never found it so hard to save. Health costs have been really expensive and it has made it even harder to save. I recently had a tonsillectomy which cost about $3000 all up and anytime I want to see a regular doctor there are hardly any bulk billing places.”

Budget reaction: “All the extra NDIS funding is awesome. Both of my sisters are affected by this and more climate funding is good, but I would be more interested to see how they are going to distribute the climate money in a way that is equitable and community-based.”

Lesa Miller

NDIS nurse, 54
Income band: $45,001 to $120,000

Credit:Photo: Penny Stephens

“If they make cuts to the NDIS, therapists will choose not to work in this space. Of my clients, over the past two years, 95 per cent have had their plans cut. It’s just getting increasingly worse. What they need to be doing is to keep exploring options to make sure there is leeway to provide more for families who need it.”

Patricia Holt

Self-funded retiree, 83
Income band: $18,000 to $45,001

Credit:Photo: Simon Schluter

“I would like to see some more provision for people to prepare for old age and to enter aged care. This could perhaps be just by making it a little bit more difficult to take your super out.”

Budget reaction: “I’m glad they’ve put money into aged care, but I would have liked to see more – there’s some people who need 24 hours of care.”

Stephanie Keefe

Manager, 39
Income band: $120,001 to $180,000

Credit:Photo: Kate Geraghty

“With childcare costing up to $200 per day, per child, I find it really hard to justify full-time work with two young children. On a professional level, I realise I need to work to remain employable and to contribute to my own superannuation. On a practical daily perspective, after childcare, petrol, parking and tolls there isn’t much left so there is little financial benefit.”

Budget reaction: “It’s a huge step in the right direction in terms of childcare for us and it validates my theory that it will one day be free for all Australians.”

Ahilan St George

Small business owner, 35
Income band: $120,001 to $180,000

Credit:Photo: Rhett Wyman

“While the cost of labor has changed, so too the cost of funding should change so that businesses have more funds to support staff and clients, and so that they can keep up with increased requirements. Industries need a lot more support to keep up with legislative changes. Staff need to be trained and have qualifications. The jobs are getting more difficult to source and supply.”

Budget reaction: “Overall I’m not impressed. As a major platform for Albanese’s election, they have not addressed the structural issues in aged care in any way.”

Graziella Corcoran

Manager, 39
Income band: $45,001 to $120,000

Credit:Photo: Scott McNaughton

“I’m worried about how the budget is going to impact families. I’m worried the government is more concerned about the debt than the economic reality. If people are struggling I would like to see them help people out before charging more tax. I have just had a baby nine months ago and returned to work. I would love to stay home more but these days you just can’t.”

Budget reaction: “Cheaper childcare is OK, but not all kids are in childcare. I thought they would try to help more with utilities as they could have brought back the fuel excise as petrol prices are high as it is.”

Denis Durand

Accountant, 50
Income band: More than $180,000

Credit:Photo: Wayne Taylor


“I think the tax cuts should be delayed until we get through this inflationary period. The greater economic good is always good for business first and inevitably trickles down to employees. Delaying tax cuts by perhaps 12 months would be the responsible thing to do.”

Budget reaction: “Unemployment is rising and at the same time they’re increasing wages – that doesn’t make sense to me and could mean fewer jobs for young people. That shows some economic mismanagement. There’s a couple of good initiatives for national housing, TAFE and childcare.”

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