Bill English just delivered his eighth budget, and the opposition as ever had pre-cooked epithets to denounce it. Here’s how his budgets have been defined – heroically or hopelessly – by his enemies (and ACT) in the parliamentary budget debate since 2009.
Labour leader Phil Goff said it was the
Greens co-leader Russel Norman said it was not an Obama budget but an
Oh, Bummer Budget
The ACT party’s Sir Roger Douglas (yes, Roger Douglas, remember him?) called it the
Bereft of Vision Budget
No NZ First, so who knows what Winston Peters said.
Goff bemoaned a
Budget of Broken Promises and Lost Opportunities
Norman denounced a
Triple Deficit Budget
ACT leader Rodney Hide (remember him!?) quite liked it.
Still no Winston.
Goff condemned a
Norman condemned a
Cut, Borrow and Sell Budget
And John Boscawen, whom no one will remember but according to Hansard was then ACT leader, quarter-condemned it as the
Missed Opportunity Budget
Still no Winston.
Into term two, and English’s fourth budget, which the new Labour leader, David Shearer, dubbed the
The Greens’ Norman must have listened to Shearer in horror, for his coinage, repeated through his speech, was the
Zero Hope Budget
And, guess what, Winston Peters was back. He called it the
Back to the Future Budget
Also, John Banks was there! Remember him? He thought about it and decided this was a
Shearer was thinking casinos, and lambasted a
(The prime minister didn’t like Shearer’s speech. “That was truly awful. It was like watching MySky on half speed,” he said.)
Norman was starting to lose the will to come up with exciting new descriptions so went for
Another Triple Deficit Budget
And the muse didn’t come up with the goods for Winston particularly either, though he sort of called it the
Cooked the Books Budget
John Banks was there! The ACT leader thought it was a
Good But Not Great Budget
A third term! Budget number six for English Bill, and another new Labour leader. David Cunliffe flexed his poetic muscles to admonish the
Russel Norman went topical – remember this? – attacking the
Cabinet Club Budget
Winston Peters? Still there! He had a name for this budget, and it was the
Steady As You Go When You Are Going Nowhere Budget
John Banks spoke.
Another new Labour leader! Andrew Little let rip on a
Fiddling-around, Fudge-it Budget
Didn’t someone say that earlier? No matter. For the Greens, Metiria Turei lamented a
Let Them Eat Toast, Out of Touch Budget
Winston? It was a
Split Enz Budget
The ACT Party’s David Seymour was there.
Here then we are, at today’s Budget, and Andrew Little is still the Labour leader. He divined a
Scratched-Out, Patchwork, Hotchpotch Half Measures Designed to Look Like an Economic Strategy Budget
James Shaw, newish co-leader of the Greens, called it the
With Any Luck Second-to-Last Budget
Winston slammed a
Get Stuffed Budget
And David Seymour was there.
The Bulletin is The Spinoff’s acclaimed daily digest of New Zealand’s most important stories, delivered directly to your inbox each morning.