Labor leader Anthony Albanese (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

As Josh Frydenberg revealed his big-spending budget, Labor was roasting the Coalition for delivering its eighth consecutive deficit. In a week dominated by the treasurer, a narrative quickly coalesced -- helped on by a flurry of drops -- that this budget would be generous, almost "Labor-lite".

With funding for aged care, childcare and mental health, it seemed like a pre-election budget that left the opposition with little room to manoeuvre. Its immediate response seems to have focused on the government's wastefulness: the $1 trillion debt, the failure after eight years to deliver a surplus, the preference for a sugar-hit headline over policy substance.

But voters seem to like big spending, and in a time of global economic uncertainty the budget's generosity could go down well. Can deficit-hawking work for Labor?