Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says his fourth budget will provide practical measures to ease cost of living pressures, as the government gears up for a federal election in May.

He hinted that some measures would take effect this week, including some relief at the petrol pump.

“Fuel prices have skyrocketed, and of course for many families this [using a car] is not a choice,” he told the ABC.

“They need their car to get to and from work. They get into their car to drop their kids at school.

“These are costs that families are incurring and of course it’s putting real pressure on their household budget.”

The move is expected to last no longer than 6 months.

If the 44-cents-a-litre fuel excise was cut by 5c a litre, it would save motorists about $2.50 when filling a 50-litre vehicle. It would cost the federal budget about $1 billion over six months.

Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers said Australians need more than a few dollars off their fuel bill.

“Petrol is a big part of the story, as everybody knows, but it’s not the only part of the story,” he said.

“No amount of money sprayed around on the eve of an election will make Australians forget a decade of attacks on wages and job security,” he said.

“That is a big part of the reason Australians have been under these cost of living pressures.”