20 May 2011

Newspapers focus on 'shaky quakey Budget'

12:30 pm on 20 May 2011

The country's major newspapers on Friday morning are heavily focused on Budget reaction.

The New Zealand Herald headlines a "shaky quakey Budget" superimposed over a caricature of Finance Minister Bill English using a wheelbarrow and shovel to help Christchurch.

The main story says his third Budget sets an ambitious path back to surplus in just four years from the record financial blowout of $16.7 million.

In a comment piece, the political editor describes it as a "fairytale of high hopes on a frayed thread".

The Dominion Post calls the Budget a "big fat zero". The paper's political editor says the battlers are being asked to give something back and the day of reckoning for the middle classes looks to have arrived.

A sidebar headed "Plain English" presents the Finance Minister's seven key points to get the country back in the black. Inside are five pages of Budget analysis and reaction.

The Press says families, public servants and savers have been asked to pay back some of the dividends they received in the golden years to help get the Government's books out of the red.

A jigsaw graphic shows how the Budget pieces are supposed to fit together, while a chorus of commentators say there's little in it to boost the economy.

The Otago Daily Times says the National Party's election manifesto was issued on Thursday in Parliament, masquerading as Budget 2011.

It says John Key and Bill English laid the challenge firmly at the feet of both Labour and the Greens, with those parties failing to fire a shot in return.