Chalmers begins cross-country budget sales pitch

May 14, 2023 02:27 PM AEST | By AAPNEWS
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Treasurer Jim Chalmers will embark on the countrywide sales pitch of his second budget, as debate continues on how best to support those on welfare payments.

Dr Chalmers will on Monday begin a five-city blitz of spruiking the budget, using the next five days to speak to business groups, unions and local residents.

The budget roadshow will start in Sydney before moving through to Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

"Our budget sees people through difficult times and sets our country up for the future. It helps Australians doing it tough and makes significant inroads in cleaning up the mess we inherited from the coalition," Dr Chalmers said.

"We understand that people are under the pump. My job this week is to tell more people how our investments in the budget can help."

While the treasurer is looking to spend the next week outlining the budget's $14.6 billion cost-of-living measures, he refused to rule out a proposal by the opposition to increase the threshold for those on JobSeeker.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has called for the maximum number of hours those on the payment are allowed to work to rise before payment benefits are removed.

Dr Chalmers said the coalition proposal already featured as part of consideration of employment strategies, ahead of a white paper on the issue being released later this year.

"Getting more people into work was already a central feature of our economic plan before Peter Dutton started scratching around for something to say in budget week," he said.

"These sorts of issues are the sorts of issues that ... we would ordinarily contemplate in the usual business."

But shadow treasurer Angus Taylor said boosting the threshold would get more people into work.

"(The government) have got to put away their ideological prejudices and recognise that getting people into work and working is the best way to improve somebody's life," he told Sky News.

"You can't walk into a small business or any business around Australia right now without them telling you about the challenges of finding workers."


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