Ministers stick to the script
Bill English delivered the Budget to Parliament this afternoon. His fellow National ministers were quick to chorus their support.
Here's what they said:
Finance Minister Bill English: "The Government has moved from managing our way out of recession to managing a growing economy. We've made significant progress in recent years that is delivering more jobs and higher incomes."
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett: "New investment announced in Budget 2014 will allow around 8000 places in employment and work-readiness services to be targeted at beneficiaries who risk staying on benefits over the long term."
Health Minister Tony Ryall:"While many developed countries around the world are freezing or even reducing health funding, this Government is committed to protecting and growing our public health services."
Police and Corrections Minister Anne Tolley: "Police and Corrections will continue to target their resources to prevent crime and address the drivers of crime to make our communities safer."
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce: "The Government has set a goal of increasing public expenditure on science to 0.8 per cent of GDP as fiscal conditions allow. Each year we have added investment through programmes like the National Science Challenges, the Marsden Fund, and the development of Callaghan Innovation."
Education Minister Hekia Parata: "The continual increase in schools' operational grants over our six Budgets has been in line with inflation, and reflects the Government's commitment to supporting schools to be successful."
Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee: "Recovering from the Canterbury earthquakes is one of the Government's four priorities for this term, and no resource is being spared in seeing Christchurch and its surrounding areas rebuilt appropriately so they can thrive into the future."
Environment Minister Amy Adams: "The Government has made a commitment to improving the quality of our fresh water, and developing a package of cohesive reform and clean-ups that will lead to more productive and sustainable use of our freshwater resource within a generation."
Housing Minister Nick Smith: "The community housing sector will be able to help hundreds more high-need New Zealand families get access to a warm, dry, affordable home with Budget 2014's $30 million boost to the Social Housing Fund. This initiative is part of the Government's social housing reforms and our plan to grow the community housing sector."
Whanau Ora Minister Tariana Turia: "Since its inception, Whānau Ora has enhanced the lives of 47,000 individuals and more than 6,000 families. This new funding will continue the good work already achieved with the Whānau Ora approach."
Revenue Minister Todd McClay: "Cheque duty is a relic from a previous age and no longer serves the function it was intended for. It is also distortionary in that other methods of payment do not have an equivalent tax."