Grant Robertson stood and delivered a Budget that essentially didn't tell us anything we didn't already know.

The books are in good shape, the economy is healthy and Labour has all the leeway it needs to make good in the areas that it targeted - health, education and housing.

Robertson delivered a comfortable Budget, it won't scare the horses. It couldn't be further away from the pizzazz that National was planning for us: Tax cuts all round.

Labour has cashed in on that $8 billion, and is giving it to where the party would be expected to give it - to needy families.


Economic growth, low inflation and the lowest unemployment for years is the forecast for the next there years and beyond. That's the foundation that this Budget is predicated on.

It's called Foundation for the Future and, thanks to the cash rolling into the Treasury's chest, if Robertson pulls the right levers the future looks pretty good, providing nothing untoward or out of the Government's control happens.

The Mycoplasma bovis disease affecting our dairy herd doesn't get a mention in this Budget, probably because it's early days yet. If it can't be eradicated, which seems to be highly likely, it will affect production in our most lucrative industry. And that will have an effect on the Treasury's bottom line, and not just on our export receipts.

Nine years ago when Bill English delivered his first Budget he could thank Labour for driving down the debt and delivering him the free trade agreement with China a month before he took over the Treasury benches. But he had to steer the country through the global financial crisis and then a few years later the Christchurch earthquake.

Robertson's Budget is being delivered against a background of higher - but perfectly sustainable debt - and a growing economy.

He's resisted the temptation to splash a bit more around, not surprising with his mentor Michael Cullen looking over his shoulder.

So nothing will come as a surprise in this Budget and that's the way this Government would have it, and that makes it harder for their Opponents to take potshots that will hit the target and hurt.