Jenna Lynch Analysis on Budget 2023: Why Labour chose to make young families winners, what's their election play

ANALYSIS: The Government is calling this the bread and butter Budget but the restrained spending has led to very little for a lot of the country - we're calling this the 'breadcrumbs Budget'. 

The Kiwis who get the biggest bite and butter are young families with the extension of 20 hours free childcare to 2-year-olds.

This is a particular voter that both National and Labour have identified as the centre swing voter - the ones they need to win.

Families at this age and stage are probably some of the ones facing the most mortgage pain right now, so alleviating a bit of one of the major cost from their weekly budget without just spraying them with cash and adding to the inflation crisis.

This is likely to be popular practical policy and it helps too that Prime Minister Chris Hipkins gets the kissing babies photo ops that come with it.

And as the old saying goes: 'It takes a village to raise a child' and Labour will be hoping that this policy won't win over just the parents of young children - but that it will convince the whole village to vote for them. 

More broadly this isn't designed to be an election-winning Budget.

Today was about crafting a narrative of restraint and responsible economic management in an extraordinarily difficult economic climate

Finance Minister Grant Robertson needed to crash rather than wean New Zealand off the sugar hit Budgets he's been serving up since COVID.

The election winning stuff comes next .They've got that $6 billion climate resilience fund to tap into for transport and infrastructure projects to announce all over the country in the lead up to the election. 

But this puts a retail easily digestible bread-and-butter policy out there to chew over for a couple weeks until their annual conference - that's when they start laying out Hipkins' vision for New Zealand.

That's when we'll start to get the flavour of the Labour campaign and find out the goodies they've kept up their sleeves.

Jenna Lynch is Newshub's Political Editor.