Test –​ Voters want budget repair over a tax

Personal income tax cuts are meant to be a centrepiece of this year's federal budget, but a new poll shows Australians view paying down the nation's debt and deficit as a higher priority.

A Newspoll survey published in The Australian newspaper on Tuesday found 26 per cent of respondents place reducing the debt and deficit as their top priority for the budget, just behind the 27 per cent who want increased funding on health.

Just 15 per cent supported cutting personal income tax, with the same proportion backing infrastructure spending, the latter being another flagged focus for the May 8 budget.

But responding to the survey, Liberal frontbencher Angus Taylor believes Australians want economic leadership from their government.

"They want a government that is wanting to drive jobs, helping to drive investment, at the same time living within our means," Mr Taylor told Sky News.

"That is absolutely crucial. I think that is where we are absolutely on target, we are working extremely hard every day and I think, over time, Australians will reward us for that focus on economic leadership."

Labor's shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh said it is possible to offer people tax cuts while repairing the budget.

"If you close the tax loopholes, if you don't give a $65 billion big business tax cut, you can manage to do both of these things," Dr Leigh told Sky News.

But the Australian Industry Group says cutting business taxes must remain a high priority for this budget.

Releasing a survey of large and small businesses, they put corporate tax cuts ahead of infrastructure spending, bringing the budget back to balance and measures to address current and future skilled shortages.