Budget 2024: Jenna Lynch analysis - The 'as advertised' Budget brings tax cuts for most but who's left behind?

ANALYSIS: Finance Minister Nicola Willis has unveiled her first-ever Budget - and it is 'as advertised'.

The tax cuts are exactly as promised - $25 a week for the average worker.

The power couples of the country earning more than $150,000 each will take home $20 bucks a week each - while pensioners will get $2.25. Rough, but exactly what was promised. 

The finance minister's cuts programme is politically well-considered - on first blush, there isn't a major alarm bell ringing over unexpected cuts to entitlements or government spending.

Departments have delivered their 6.5 percent cuts - 'as advertised'.

You will see the left attack it for cutting too much, and the right decrying the continuation of large government spending. That possibly indicates a goldilocks zone - not too hot, not too cold, near the right amount of cut to be palatable.

Hospitals, schools and police get the lions share of the rest - again 'as advertised'.

Five-point-five billion for hospitals, specialist services, primary care and public health, $31.2 million for extending breast screening, $1.5 billion for new classrooms, $226 million for its 500 extra police.

The frontline got its fair share - two-thirds of new spending in the Budget.

The balance of coalition wins is quite off-kilter.

New Zealand First has wrung its billion bucks out of the bare cupboard for a Regional Infrastructure Fund whereas on the ACT side - they will have wanted the spending cuts to go much further and had to settle for the Nats' tax cuts.

Those tax cuts - and how to fund them came under immense scrutiny, especially as economic conditions deteriorated but the finance minister was steadfast in her promise.

Despite borrowing an extra $12 billion overall, Willis also claims she's fully funded her tax cuts through spending cuts along with scattered levy increases and a direction to the tax department to chase up student loan debt and crack down on tax evaders.

So she's done it.

"I have kept that pledge" Nicola Willis boasted in the Budget lockup. Good thing too, she said she'd resign if she didn't.

But not all pledges are created equal.

The promise to fund 13 new cancer drugs has been kicked down the road.

The most generous tax cut - $25 a week - will not touch the sides for families paying $5000 a month for unfunded lifesaving cancer drugs.

Newshub spoke to a mother this week that told us that the decision for her was life and death.

But she misses out.

Budget 2024 was not 'as advertised' for those who really, desperately needed it to be.

Jenna Lynch is Newshub's political editor.