Labour leader David Shearer says New Zealanders will be flocking to airport departure lounges following today's budget.
Speaking in the House, he said Budget 2012 was a zero budget that gave people zero hope and zero reasons to stay in New Zealand.
About 50,000 New Zealanders have left to Australia and now more could be expected, he said.
"John Key and Bill English claim this Budget is about giving Kiwis 'confidence in uncertain times'. That's just a slogan from a couple of confidence tricksters who keep making promises that they don't deliver on."
Shearer said the Government has delivered the worst growth in 50 years and were resorting to selling New Zealand assets because of it.
"People are working hard, working longer and making harder choices. They expect a better deal," he said.
"National keeps promising growth without doing anything to encourage it - the political equivalent of putting a seed on a windowsill and wishing it into a forest.
"Last year, they promised 4 per cent growth. Today they've cut it to 2.6 per cent.
"They've promised year after year that there will be more jobs. Last year, the figure was 170,000 more over four years. Now it's 16,000 fewer than that.
"National promised a brighter future. They keep saying the good times are just around the corner. But they never arrive."
Shearer said New Zealanders were tired of hearing National's excuses.
"The government blames earthquakes, global financial woes and even other politicians for its failure to deliver. No one should make promises they can't keep. It's time to take responsibility.
Prime Minister John Key compared Shearer's speech to failing Facebook shares.
"Those are 20 minutes of my life I'm never getting back."
Key said it appeared that on "planet Labour" the financial crisis never happened.
"On planet labour, the Christchurch earthquakes never happened."
His comments causes outraged, with Labour MPs asking whether that was supposed to be funny.
Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said New Zealanders were paying for the Government's poor fiscal management.
"If there is a burden to be shared, it should be shared fairly," he said.
In 2010, they cut income taxes for the rich and raised GST.
That move was "obscene and fiscally irresponsible" and had cost the country billions of dollars, Norman said.
The Government's books were deeper into deficit and "now we have to sell our assets to cover the hole they have created".
"It is clear they made poor decisions costing New Zealanders dearly."
He said the $12 billion for roads was a waste of tax payer money and scrapping KiwiSaver auto-enrolment was a bad decision.
NZ First leader Winston Peters said the Government had delivered a "back to the future" budget.
It was brought back from 21 years ago, when former finance minister Ruth Richardson delivered her "mother of all budgets".
Richardson, like Finance Minister Bill English, delivered a budget that would bring "misery" and make thousands of New Zealanders lose their jobs.
"It shows they have learned nothing," he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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