Politicians, analysts and journalists gathered this week for the Harry Potter reading party of political announcements where everyone sits down to read one book at the same time. In this case, that book is the 176-page 2022 Budget, with Finance Minister Grant Robertson taking JK Rowling's place.
Among those in the lockup on Thursday were On the Tiles host and NZ Herald senior political reporter Thomas Coughlan and his guests on the podcast this week: Wellington business editor Jenee Tibshraeny and Newstalk ZB chief political report Jason Walls.
Now the speeches and pantomime of Budget Day is out of the way, the three sat down for this week's On the Tiles to discuss the ins and outs of the Budget, what's been announced, what may be re-announced later, and what impact this will have on the country - and Labour.
The $6 billion Budget included a huge increase in health spending, with $11 billion being set aside over four years, as well as a $27-a-week payment to those who earned less than $70,000 last year as part of a $1 billion package to ease the cost of living crisis.
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It has since been revealed that Treasury advised against the package. Advice released this morning showed Treasury believed the Government should investigate a "more targeted form of support to lower-income households", and that the payments would "add to inflationary pressures in the short-term" although "the risk to longer-term inflationary pressures is relatively small" because the payments are temporary.
The On the Tiles panel discusses what impact those payments could have, whether the Government should have done more to meet its own child poverty targets, the newly announced Business Growth Fund, the impact of the Budget on house prices - and where this year's cover photo rates compared to previous offerings.