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November 08 2012, 10:50AM

Opposition leader Tony Abbott has promised to ease cost of living pressures for Australian households by getting the federal budget under control if the coalition wins power at the next election.

If the budget is out of control, Mr Abbott said on Thursday, it makes life "worse for you".

"My plan is to take the pressure off the forgotten families of Australia, and we do that by getting the commonwealth budget under better control," he told reporters in Melbourne.

He said the carbon tax, while not the only problem, was the one thing the government could scrap to reduce living costs, particularly electricity bills.

"Every Australian power bill is going up and up and up, and the simple truth is, that every time your power bill goes up, the prime minister has a smile on her face because that is just the carbon tax doing its job," he said.

Mr Abbott said Labor had failed to manage the economy properly.

"You can't trust this government to manage the economy; you can't trust this government to control our borders; you can't trust this government to tell the truth."