National leaks what it claims are Wellbeing Budget details

The National Party has leaked what it claims are details of the Wellbeing Budget - but the details only cover 2019/2020. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern disputed the leak on Tuesday just after National released the document with the alleged Budget details.

National claims Budget 2019 will spend:

  • $1.3 billion on defence
  • $740 million on international aid
  • $744 million for DHBs
  • $139 million for forestry

National leader Simon Bridges said it doesn't make sense that the Government would allocate more money for "tanks but not for teachers" and money for "trees but not for teeth".

"It makes a mockery of the Government’s inability to settle the teachers strike and refusal to fund more for dentistry," he said.

"The Wellbeing Budget was meant to be transformational but it's all spin and no substance."

He questioned the Government allocating $740 million for international aid in 2019/2020, but couldn't find $62 million to fully fund ambulance services.

As for the $744 million boost to DHBs, Bridges said the amount will "barely enough to cover business as usual cost pressures including deficits, let alone new initiatives".

"It's not the Wellbeing Budget - it's the Winston [Peters] Budget."

When asked if the details of the leak were true on Tuesday morning, Ardern said: "I would never take the National Party statements as read."

"Opposition's going to do what the Opposition does," she added, going on to criticise National for the "patently incorrect things they've said recently about crime statistics".

Bridges earlier this week blamed the Government's effort to reduce the prison population for a rise in serious crime.

"I do not take as read anything that comes from the National Party, they are our Opposition remember. It is their prerogative if they wish to speculate, but they only have two days left to wait," Ardern said on Tuesday.

"Our five priorities have been very clear: transitioning our economy, mental health investment, family and sexual violence - you already know our priorities, we've put them out there."

When asked if her Cabinet is leaking, Ardern said: "No."

When asked if National found the information or was leaked it, Bridges said: "I'm not going to say how I got this information, just as I wouldn't expect journalist to do so."

"What we've done there, in the information that we've given you, is put together what we have from the information to protect how and what information we have, but it is certainly information from the Budget - we're confident of that."

"I think what it shows is a loose, incompetent Government that really doesn't know what it's about and what it's doing."