nzherald.co.nz will have full coverage of today's Budget, with news, comment and analysis from 2pm.

The last Question Time before Budget Day is a tad like watching a big, dysfunctional family on Christmas Eve.

Only the parents know what is in the big box under the tree. They sit there smugly repeating 'wait and see" while the children do their damnedest to get just one peek under the wrapping or a shake to see whether it rattles, chimes or clunks.

The day began out in Petone where finance minister Bill English showed media the colour of the wrapping - the predictable blue - but not what was inside.

"Wait and see," he says when he's asked what is in the Budget and then clarifies by adding another "wait and see."

He loves this so much that he sets up a chance to say it yet again by getting one of National's backbenchers to kick off question time by asking a patsy question about what Budget 2010 will deliver for New Zealand.

Bill English instead reveals what he thinks Labour would have put in the box had they been in any position to fill it - more debt and unfunded promises. Instead, New Zealanders' eyes will be opened to a whole new experience: "the virtue of earning more than one spends."

Pressed further about exactly which New Zealanders will experience this - the rich, the poor, or those in the middle - he instead says what is not in the Budget.

There will be no lolly scrambles, he says, but - just to keep up some suspense - there may be a "few twists."

Just when the game has worn thin, it is broken up by the latest episode in the highly acclaimed Crusher and Cosgrove Show.

This show - featuring Corrections minister Judith Collins and Labour's spokesman Clayton Cosgrove - usually begins with Cosgrove trying to crush Collins only to have the tables turned on him by Collins' unique blend of obstruction and derision.

The credits usually roll to the soundtrack of prolonged cackling from Collins and her Greek chorus led by fellow minister Paula Bennett.

This time the show turns into Prime Minister John Key crushing Labour's Trevor Mallard after a protracted argument about Collins describing Cosgrove as "the puppet of the Herald on Sunday."

The barracking is so loud the Speaker does not hear the term but Mr Mallard does. He stands to object and calls for an apology for Cosgrove.

But Mr Key has taken offense at Mr Mallard taking offense. He rises and claims Mr Mallard frequently interjects using words such as 'liar' when National ministers were speaking.

`'If Mr Mallard is such a sensitive little daffodil that he is proposing he is, that's totally fine, but I'd ask him to be consistent with his own comments."

The Speaker duly declares all and sundry to be offended and announce he will no longer tolerate anyone calling anyone else a liar.

There follows a debate over whether Mr Key was lying in claiming Mr Mallard had called him a liar. First Chris Carter tries to claim it was actually he, and not Mr Mallard, who had done so.

Then Mr Mallard stands again to try to argue his innocence. He's clearly seen what is coming for he prefaces his defence with "I am going to leave the House now."

But the Speaker loses patience before he can continue and the sensitive little daffodil finds himself rudely transplanted and ejected from the Debating Chamber for his efforts.