Budget 2014: Live updates

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I’ll be updating this page all afternoon with all the latest news on Budget 2014.

Could this be the year the government finally caves in and gives you that pony? 

12:02 pm

Currently in the Budget lockup. I have managed to smuggle my iPad in. Hoping the ladies walking up and down the aisles don’t notice. I will be able to report what’s in the Budget before anyone else does!

It’s the first time I’ve been to one of these lockups, and I honestly expected to see a lot of familiar journalist faces from the telly and newspapers. But everyone here seems so young.

12:17 pm

My God! Am trying to read this Budget paper, but all this accounting and economics mumbo-jumbo is French to me. Literally French.  Why have they written almost everything in French? What the hell is this? Did National just copy and paste the last budget from the French government?

12:34 pm

They’re crowdsourcing this year’s Budget! The booklet they gave me has spaces for me to fill in the answers. We’re all helping to write the Budget.

It’s certainly a novel approach, but it’s more something I’d expect from the Greens.

How the heck is Bill English supposed to collate all the feedback before he goes into Parliament this afternoon?

12:56 pm

Have decided to leave the Budget lockup early, because I can’t read French. I wonder if I’m even allowed to leave before 2pm. I tried to while away the time by striking up a conversation with my neighbour, but she just scowled at me. Journos these days are so unfriendly.

The lady said I could leave, but said I have to put my name at the top of the paper before handing it in.

1:08 pm

Was on my way out, and noticed the sign on the door. It said “University of Auckland: French exam in progress. Do not enter.”

I know Bill English wants a Budget surplus at any cost, but combining the lockup with a university exam is taking things too far.

Might go watch the Budget in a bar somewhere. I just hope I can get a seat near the telly.

I’ll be keeping an eye on the rest of the media too this afternoon.

1:15 pm

The competitors continue their warm-ups.

Bill English and his team go into their pre-match huddle. Let’s listen in on what Bill is saying to his caucus members.

This is a fucking huge game for us, boys. If we win this one we’ll make it easier for ourselves later in the year. But it’s not gonna be easy for us, and we’re gonna have to give it everything.

The other teams are gunning for us, and they’ve got some pretty good playmakers. We need to contain them, make sure they don’t get momentum. Gerry, you’ll be on defence today. I want lots of irrelevant and silly points of order during proceedings in Parliament today. And we all need to support Gerry with our heckling today. If we can rattle their captain we might be able to push him into making mistakes.

Jonno, I need a big one from you today, mate. You’re our star player, but if you want to be there on 20 September with your hands on the trophy you need to pull it all out today.

Judith, you’ve had a break, so I expect a big effort from you today. Let’s see some of that trade mark nastiness from you.

Let’s leave everything on the field today! 110 percent!

1:19 pm

And now to the Greens. No, it looks like they’re all asleep. Wait, no, they’re having a group meditation session. Let’s leave them to it.

1:22 pm

Over in the Labour caucus room it sounds as if there is utter pandemonium. The media can’t get their cameras in to look, but they’re trying to get their microphones near the door.

It sounds like there’s a lot of shouting, arguing and hurling of abuse going on. Which is pretty normal for Labour, so they must have finished their warm-up already.

1:41 pm

I’m really worried about Justin Bieber. If there could be something in the Budget to help Justin Bieber sort his life out, then that would be nice.

2:01 pm

I also hope there’s something in the Budget for hard-working property speculators.

2:05 pm

This Parliament TV is pretty terrible. The actors don’t even know their lines. The guy on at the moment has to read from notes!

I wonder what’s on the other channel.

2:13 pm

A Black Budget for some. A quick review of Budget news reports suggests that the targeted assistance for IP lawyers I’d been praying so desperately for hasn’t come through.

2:18 pm

Lest we forget, Bill reminds us that everything is Labour’s fault.

2:20 pm

The grey-haired guy sitting behind Bill English must be a shoo-in for “most famous MP nobody knows the name of”

2:23 pm

Cheque duty is going. Finally! Now I can go back to paying everything by cheque. That includes my morning coffee.

2:27 pm

So under 13s get free doctors visits. But they are some of the most economically unproductive members of our society. Shouldn’t we be giving free visits to our hardworking CEOs and stockbrokers instead?

2:30 pm

It turns out that Bill English really does cares about the poor and the underprivileged. Who knew?

2:42 pm

This is so boring.

Definitely the worst film ever.

3:09 pm

John Key thinks he’s auditioning for 7 Days again. I don’t think he’ll be on any time soon.

3:11 pm

Shock, as both Labour and National supporters conclude that their team is winning the debate.

3:14 pm

John Key now blaming the Australian downturn on NZ’s Labour Party. Shame on you, David Cunliffe!

3.24 pm

3:34 pm

Pharmaceutical companies discover cure for insomnia. Now seeking to patent Dr Russel Norman’s Budget debate speech.

3:37 pm

Some reactions to the Budget:

Young Nats: OMG! This budget is, like, so totally awesome!

Young Labour: Like, whatever! It’s totally lame.

Young Greens: Man, I’m getting such a bad buzz from this Budget.

Young New Zealand First: I say, old chap, has anyone seem my dentures?

3:45 pm

We’ll all be laughing about this Winston speech slamming the Budget after 20 September, when he goes into government with National.

3:52 pm

All this talk by Winston about cake is making me hungry.

I definitely am getting cake!

3:55 pm

Evil foreigners. etc.

4:03 pm

Te Ururoa Flavell in da House keepin’ it real.

4:07 pm

Crisis in another House, as blogger discovers his son needs to be taken to sport practice.