John Key has come under fire since Budget papers showed National ministers' travel costs for their first three months in government came to $739,000 - more than double the $336,000 of Labour ministers over the same period the year before.

Labour leader Phil Goff has accused National of hypocrisy after demanding other government departments trim their costs, saying it showed a "willingness of ministers to spend up large on themselves" despite the tough economic times.

Mr Key said it was "a cheap shot" from Mr Goff, who as trade, foreign affairs and defence minister had spent $2 million on travel from 2000 to 2008.

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