Malcolm Turnbull has sought to reassure business and community leaders his government is committed to balancing the books while delivering vital services.
The May budget has failed to lift the coalition's political stocks, with large numbers of voters saying it favoured the rich and large corporations over average working people, older Australians and students.
The prime minister will tell a Committee for Economic Development of Australia conference in Canberra on Wednesday the Liberal party preferred lower taxes, "but we dislike unsustainable deficits and mounting debt even more".
"We have delivered this while sticking to our values - all of our new spending decisions were paid for by reducing spending elsewhere in the budget," he will say.
Government spending would fall to 25 per cent of GDP by 2019/20, while vital services such as schools and health care would be funded at record levels.
"Our approach to schools funding is another demonstration of the great truism in Australian politics: if you want policy that's more than empty rhetoric - policy that is properly funded, implemented and working for the nation - elect a Liberal government," Mr Turnbull will say.
"Labor floats grand schemes, Liberals fund vital services."
Further contrasting Labor and Liberal, he will say one of the marks of a well-functioning economy is that each generation strives to improve on the last.
"There is nothing more Liberal than doing all we can to ensure that every Australian has the same opportunity, the same chance, with hard work and enterprise to get ahead and realise their dream."
He says the coalition does not believe permanently increasing the combined top marginal tax rate to 49.5 per cent will make Australia a more prosperous nation.
"(That) would send a very poor signal to all Australian workers: don't bother trying to earn just over two times average full time weekly earnings," he says.
"Because once you do ... half of your extra perseverance, determination and enterprise belongs to the government."
This undermined aspiration and fairness, while worsening incentives and economic efficiency, he says.