‘All I can say is it’s not our fault Bill English left’ – PM Jacinda Ardern hits back at National

It follows comments from the Opposition calling the Budget a “brain drain”. Source: Parliament TV

'An incredibly disappointing Budget given the embarrassment of riches' says National's Amy Adams

National's finance spokesperson Amy Adams says it's an incredibly disappointing Budget given what she calls the embarrassment of riches the new Labour-led Government had.

Ms Adams says Finance Minister Grant Robertson was awash with cash with the surplus and the strong economy left him as the new Government came into office last year.

"The Labour Government decided to create very, very high expectations and promises We warned them during the election campaign their numbers didn't add up," she said, speaking on a Budget 2018 Special on TVNZ1.

"And what we've seen today is that they've had to push out their allowances over the Budget period by an extra $5 billion and they've pushed out their debt by an extra $7 billion.

"So $11 billion of money they hadn't planned to spend that they're now saying they're going to have to spend to make their numbers work. 

"And even with that is what's noticeable is what's not there. 

"There's no funding for Dunedin Hospital. They're taking $200 million of savings out of the Pharmac budget. 

"We're not seeing those 1800 extra police over three years. They're not delivering the extra 2000 state house  a year that they promised. 

"There's no Waikeria prison. And there certainly isn't the universal free GP visits," Ms Adams said.

She said Labour made a big deal of health in the lead-up to the Budget but are putting less new money into health each year than National put in last year.

"So for all of their big talk, actually they're not delivering."

Ms Adams said it's the same in education. Minister Chris Hipkins had said $1.1 billion of capital was needed but they've put in $395 million over four years, she said.

National's finance spokesperson says they warned Labour during the election campaign their numbers didn't add up. Source: 1 NEWS


Watch as beaming PM Jacinda Ardern congratulates Grant Robertson on his first Budget speech with massive hug

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stepped up to congratulate her Finance Minister Grant Robertson at the end of his first Budget speech, as applause rang out in Parliament this afternoon.

Labour Party deputy leader Kelvin Davis, seated next to Mr Robertson, was the first to offer congratulations to him after be concluded his Budget speech with the Maori greeting "tena koutou".

Ms Ardern, seated nearby next to New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, then stepped from her seat and walked over to congratulate Mr Robertson with a hug.

The Prime Minister is due to give birth to her first child in just over four weeks, on Sunday June 17.

Mr Peters will become Acting Prime Minister for several weeks while Ms Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford care for their new baby.

Mr Gayford will then become stay-at-home dad when Ms Ardern returns to the Prime Minister's office.

The Government side of their house rose to applaud the Finance Minister after he presented his first Budget today. Source: 1 NEWS