Barnaby Joyce
Barnaby Joyce is concerned with the deficit (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

Once upon a time, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg deified Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, architects of the great neoliberal experiment.

But the pandemic killed ideology, as Frydenberg himself once put it. On Tuesday night, he hammered another nail in ideology's coffin, delivering a big-spending budget that appeared to stray a long way from much of the Coalition’s traditional small government ethos.

Not all conservatives are happy with that drift. Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce told Crikey he had concerns about the size of the budget deficit, and the difficulties future generations would face paying it all back.