5. It's a 'spray and walk away' Budget

National leader Simon Bridges was in furious form in the house, shouting that the Government was fleecing New Zealanders with its first Budget. Photo: Sam Sachdeva

National was almost as quick off the mark as journalists when the Budget embargo lifted, claiming the Government was borrowing more, taxing more, and spending more.

Simon Bridges, in perhaps his most animated speech as leader since taking on the top job, spoke furiously in the house.

Calling it the "spray and walk away" budget, he pointed to a funding drop for Pharmac, delays for Dunedin Hospital and mental health spending, and decisions he said were based on the will of Winston Peters rather than the good of the country.

"It's really a special form of incompetence, they're still managing to break most of their promises."

Bridges, alongside National's finance spokesperson Amy Adams, repeatedly pointed to high debt levels and an extra $6 billion of borrowing hidden in Crown entities. National, however, also did the same in their previous Budgets.

Health received heavy investment in the budget, but Bridges said it was actually less than what National was planning to spend.

On paper, he is right.

National estimated it would spend $924 million on health in 2018/19, while Labour will spend $774m.

The problem is, a huge chunk of National's spending, $348m, was court-ordered. As a result of the landmark Terranova pay equity case, a huge boost to caregivers was mandatory.

Asked whether it was disingenuous to claim such spending Bridges said it wasn't, as it was "real money for real jobs".

Regardless, the public would have been expecting a cash injection of well over a billion dollars from the Government considering all the crisis talk, he said.

On more solid ground, Bridges said an extra $9m in funding for MPI was pathetic in the wake of the mycoplasma bovis crisis.

The Government has already announced $85m in funding but indicated the disease could have a $1b impact.

There is plenty of money left in the Government's coffers if needed, but Bridges said he had expected a much bigger upfront spend on biosecurity.

"I think it's staggering ... it's got $9m over four years. I wouldn't have been surprised if it got $250m frankly, from this Budget awash in cash."