Australians think the Federal Government should have spent more on the environment and less on tax cuts in the Federal Budget, according to a consumer spending survey commissioned by the Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA).

“Some 53 per cent of consumers would have preferred government to have spent more on the environment and less on tax cuts. On the flip side, just six per cent said they wanted larger tax cuts and less spent on the environment,” says ANRA CEO, Margy Osmond.

“Consumers seem to have taken environmental responsibility to heart, which isn’t surprising given it’s a hot topic with both the Federal Government and Opposition in an election year.”

Osmond adds that the economic responsibility message also seems to have filtered through to consumers.

“Far from treating tax cuts or bonus payments as an excuse for a spending spree, 57 per cent of consumers indicated they would direct money towards general household expenses, 52 per cent plan to save or invest money and 46 per cent will use it on bills. 

“Even those who intend hitting the shops with their budget bonuses are taking care of business before splurging, with food and groceries the clear winner when asked how the tax cuts might affect their shopping baskets,” says Osmond.

Some 32 per cent of respondents said they would spend extra money saved on shopping, with food and groceries at the top of the list and sporting goods at the bottom.

“The survey also showed 42 per cent of consumers are concerned or very concerned that the tax cuts delivered in the budget could mean hikes in interest rates. Half of those were households with children.

“Australian consumers are clearly showing heightened interest in the environment and a back-to-basics approach to spending any budget windfall,” concludes Osmond.