'Ironic' of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to recollect 1991 'Mother of all Budgets' when she would have been 11 years old - Peter Dunne

Former United Future leader Peter Dunne says it's "ironic" Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been referencing the 1991 'Mother of all Budgets' this week - given she would have been 11 years old at the time.

On Thursday, the Government announced its Budget - with a key feature being a major boost to benefits. Ardern said Budget 2021 was about reversing cuts to benefits made in 1991 under National Party Finance Minister Ruth Richardson and Prime Minister Jim Bolger - a Budget nicknamed the 'Mother of all Budgets.'

"Thirty years," Ardern said. "That's how long it has taken to get benefits back to the rates they were before the Mother of all Budgets."

But Dunne, discussing the Budget on Magic Talk's Sunday Cafe, doesn't believe Ardern would have remembered much about the 1991 Budget.

"I thought it was a bit ironic - the Prime Minister recalling her recollections of the 1991 Budget as an 11-year-old," he told host Mel Homer. "I think most of us would struggle to recall our recollections of significant political events at the age of 11."

The Mother of All Budgets, saw benefits slashed and other social programmes cut, but the latest Budget will deliver benefit increases by $20 per week from July, with a second increase in April next year bringing main benefits in line with recommendations from the 2019 Welfare Expert Advisory Group (WEAG). 

"If you asked Jim Bolger what he regrets most in life, I guarantee you he'll tell you it's the 1991 Budget," said former radio host Mitch Harris, appearing on Magic Talk alongside Dunne. "He knew what it caused and it causes him heartache to this day."

In total, Budget 2021 will deliver weekly benefit rates increase by between $32 and $55 per adult by April 2022.