Labour takes razor to alternative budget

Labour has made changes to its budget plans in light of the Government's pre-election update last week.

Party leader David Cunliffe said the original budget had contingencies in it and Labour had retained its social policy promises but made small changes to its plan.

The largest change was to drop the indexing of the $1 billion-a-year budget allowance.

Finance spokesman David Parker said $300 million had been carved out of spending and some expenditure had been delayed including a six month delay in the start of Labour's pledge to give free doctors visits to the over 65s.

Parker said the number of spending commitments yet to be announced has been pared back from seven to just one, but the most significant spending plans have been announced.

Cunliffe and Parker would not say what has been dropped.

Labour would run surpluses and maintain its debt reduction target to reach 3 per cent net debt by 2020/2021.

Cunliffe said Parker and his team had rigorously applied the "razor" after the pre-election update.