Finger-wagging Simon Bridges and Jacinda Ardern clash over funding priorities ahead of new government's first Budget

Tensions were high in Question Time ahead of the release of Budget 2018 tomorrow, with National leader Simon Bridges questioning the Prime Minister on where the money for the $1 billion per year Provincial Growth Fund would come from. 

The opposition leader began by asking why the government considered "nearly $1 billion for foreign affairs was more important than delivering on their promise of cheaper GP visits, for all New Zealanders". 

Winston Peters, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, announced last week more than $900 million would go to foreign affairs and development over the next four years, in a pre-Budget speech.

Cheaper GP visits have been delayed by the government, however millions were announced last night to go into foreign affairs and aid. Source: Breakfast

It also comes as the government said there could be a possibility initiatives such as cheaper doctor visits, as promised by the Labour Party during the election, would need to be phased in rather than begin on July 1

Ms Ardern said to keep New Zealand's development funding at the status quo would require $590 million investment. 

Mr Bridges went onto NZ First MP Shane Jones' Provincial Growth Fund, asking if the $1 billion per year would be from new funding and not reprioritised from other sources.

Reprioritising is pulling money from other sectors. 

"We've traversed this many times in the House, substantively this is new, but we have reprioritised elements of the Budget as well," Ms Ardern said.

"Overall, I think what matters to the people most are the fact that we are actually investing in the regions that have experienced significant neglect over the last nine years."