Opposition decides against traditional Budget motion of no confidence, citing 'exceptional times'

The annual Budget debate in Parliament is traditionally opened by the Opposition moving for a motion of no confidence. But that didn't happen this year.

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Opposition Leader Simon Bridges didn’t move a motion of no confidence in the Budget, which traditionally follows its presentation. Source: 1 NEWS

The motion of no confidence is a challenge from the Opposition parties that they don't support the Budget being tabled.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she hopes Simon Bridges' lack of the motion means he and his party support the Budget in "a period of our history that is a global crisis".

"Now is the time to come together as politicians, to say that a rainy day demands of us that we shelter and protect New Zealand to weather the storm," she told Parliament.

"Rather than argue about who gets to hold the umbrella, I hope the Opposition steps away from business as usual and does vote for a Budget that delivers jobs."

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Budget 2020: Free trades training for all ages to be rolled out in Covid-19 fall-out

National deputy leader Paula Bennett confirmed Mr Bridges didn't forget the motion, but rather chose not to do it.

"He decided in exceptional times not to," she says.

Despite this, in his address, Mr Bridges denounced the Government's response to Covid-19 as "soft and slow".

"Today we see a tsunami of debt about to wash over us, the greatest burden of debt in our country's history by a long way," he says.

"It's relatively easy to go into lockdown. New Zealanders made the sacrifice. 

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What you need to know: Budget 2020

"It's much harder to lead an economy back into recovery, but the best thing you can do is make the way back as simple as possible.

Budget 2020 includes a $50 billion recovery fund from Covid-19, including $4 billion in business support and $1.4 billion for a trades and apprenticeship training scheme.

It's projected a $28 billion deficit.

You can find more details on today's Budget announcement here.