The Government's billion-dollar bailout is necessary to assist struggling New Zealanders but it arrives bearing some political risks for Labour.
The problem with this type of policy is that its success depends entirely on how long the economic pressures persist and continue to impact New Zealanders.
NZ Herald business editor at large Liam Dann tells the Front Page podcast that Finance Minister Grant Robertson is essentially rolling the dice on New Zealand's economic fate in the coming year.
If the inflationary pressure subsides, then the Government would have been seen as helping Kiwis when they needed it most. On the flip side, if the pressure persists, then Government could face having to pour more money into the issue – only leading to further criticism from the Opposition.
"If we're still facing the same sort of thing next year, then they have to do it again and again," explains Dann.
In fact, we've already seen that play out in this Budget. The suspension of the fuel excise duty and half-price public transport have both been extended, amid the continued problem of elevated petrol prices. If the Government were to pull this subsidy now, there would have been an outcry from Kiwis already struggling to make ends meet.
The question now facing the Government is how much longer the high level of inflation will persist in the local context.
"Treasury put out new forecasts and they were pretty gloomy on inflation – even gloomier than some of the market economists – so they are projecting it will peak this year and then drop to about 5.2 per cent right through 2023, which is still very high," Dann explains.
"Then it will still be at 3.6 per cent in 2024, and not getting into the Reserve Bank's comfort zone where we can all stop worrying about inflation until 2025."
Given growing concerns due to the cost of living crisis, Robertson had to spend something to show the public that Government was listening.
Whether they've gone too far or not far enough will depend mainly on who you're asking.
Herald columnist Audrey Young has described this as a Goldilocks Budget, which neither spends too much nor too little.
The theory here is that it does just enough to keep everyone happy – but it can also go the other way, warns Dann.
"The problem is that you can get beat up from both sides," he says.
"There'll be your party faithful, or those on the left, who feel that you haven't done enough to help the poorest in society. There wasn't a huge amount there for welfare, for example."
On the other side, you'll have opponents criticising the Government for spending on the wrong things and continuing to fuel inflation.
"It's hard to know until the economic forecasts turn into reality whether Grant Robertson has got it right.
"Grant Robertson is trying to tread this very narrow path between being inflationary and giving up on the projects and the big goals that they have."
Dann says that it would be good for the country if a few international events started going in our favour.
"If there was some sort of resolution to the war in Ukraine, if China sorted out its Covid response and its supply chain issues, or if the US gets its inflation under control without stock markets completely crashing to the floor. It would be nice if [some of these] things went our way."
The course of these international events will ultimately determine how effective the Government's Budget is in the coming year.
"If there are some fair winds internationally then we could see inflation play through more quickly and that will make the Government's strategies look better," Dann says.
"But conversely, it's a big roll of the dice. It could go the other way. They could really be struggling with inflation and low growth this time next year – and then it's going to be a tough one for them."
Simmering beneath all these issues is the ongoing reality of Covid-19 in our community, but there wasn't much emphasis on this in the Budget at all.
The billion dollars being put toward this short-term relief for struggling New Zealanders is being pulled from the Covid-19 fund, which is now being wound up. There was $3.2b left in the fund as of April - that money will be spent on the cost-of-living package, leaving $1.2b set aside for further Covid-related problems that might crop up in the next year.
Meanwhile, a report out this week suggested that Covid-19 is set to continue impacting the global community for years to come and that the pandemic is far from over. This poses the question of whether that money should rather be put toward a longer-term strategy to prepare the nation for the ongoing impact of the pandemic.
"It's interesting because everyone is trying to pretend Covid is behind us, including the Government and the way they've accounted for this, but we're in another mini-wave in Auckland. We can see people dropping with Covid all around us. It's not going away," says Dann.
"The Government is following the [political] consensus ... that we have to move on and that we have to handle it through regular health spending, so we can only hope that it doesn't require anything more serious emergency wise. Yes, we might have some peaks through winter, but they're betting on recovery and tourists coming back. It is a bit of a gamble, but they haven't got too much choice politically."
With the dice now rolled, all we can do is wait and see what happens in the coming year.
• The Front Page is a daily news podcast from the New Zealand Herald, available to listen to every weekday from 5am.