Budgets aren't what they used to be.

There was a time when Budget day was the most important date in the financial calendar. Budget secrets were closely guarded, and revealed only at the last moment.

How different has been our experience this year!

However it was that National acquired Budget details before Budget day, the National leader, with scant regard for the public interest or ethical considerations, had no qualms about publishing them as soon as he could to gain party advantage.

Quite apart from National's attempted pre-Budget spoiler, we had in any case a succession of announcements in advance