Whangārei solo-mum with three children still at home, Melanie Adams had some pre-Budget wishes - she didn't quite get them all.

She's been struggling for a while — she lives in a Housing NZ rental in Ōtangarei for $365 a week, is on a benefit and earns between $150 and $240 weekly in part-time work.

She wanted to see GST reduced on a range of fresh and healthy food items rather than a sugar tax on over-sweetened, unhealthy food. Adams also wanted more tax breaks for low-income families, whether they were beneficiaries or the ''working poor''.

''I'm hoping this Government might be able to provide more help for those people, but we don't know yet how much they can do.''

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Next to food, her biggest spend each week is on petrol. She drives her children around and uses her car to get to work, running up a weekly bill of about $100 in petrol.

''I'd like to see petrol come down, instead of going up all the time. That and food. Every week I buy the same things for the family to eat and each time so many of those food items have gone up,'' Adams said.

Yesterday afternoon, she had heard about some big ticket items in the Budget but was not sure how they might directly benefit her. She was pleased to see child poverty issues addressed, such as free GP visits for under 14-year-olds.

Tax breaks for lower-income families and more job opportunities for young people would be most helpful, she said.

''Time will tell [how much it will benefit her family], it's one of those Budgets that will take time to work itself out.''