Coalition ready to do more for economy

FINANCE Minister Mathias Cormann says the government is prepared to do more to help lift the economy but isn't prepared to waste a "crazy" amount of money as it claims former Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd did.

Senator Cormann said the government has a pro-growth strategy through tax cuts and a $100 billion infrastructure program.

"Of course we are prepared to do more, faster in areas where that makes sense, but we will never do what Kevin Rudd did," he told Sky News on Friday, in reference to Labor's spend in the face of the 2008/09 global financial crisis.

He noted Labor's past stimulus programs such as school halls and "pink batts" had been failures.

"That might have stimulated the economy but that is just a crazy waste of money."

He said genuine economy-enhancing infrastructure needs to be properly identified, prioritised and executed.

"That means you can't do it from one day to the next in many circumstances and many instances," he said.

He declined to confirm reports that the government is considering income tax exemptions for farmers under siege from the drought.

The minister said there is always pre-budget speculation, "and now apparently we also have pre-budget half-yearly update speculation".

The mid-year budget review - or the Mid-Year Economics and Fiscal Outlook to give its formal title - is due in December.

"We are focused on providing additional support as the drought continues and the impact of the drought continues to worsen," Senator Cormann said.

"We will assess further measures as appropriate."