'Money for tanks but not for teachers' - Simon Bridges takes aim at Budget after claiming massive leak of details

National claims it has leaked parts of the 2019 Budget, the highly secretive details of which were to be released this Thursday. 

Finance Minister Grant Robertson with Budget 2019.

Party leader Simon Bridges said the Government are set to put $1.3 billion into defence, an extra $139 million into forestry, $744 million for District Health Boards, $740 million for international aid.

"[Finance Minister ] Grant Robertson said we'd have to wait until Christmas Day to unwrap all of the presents but National has had a peek under the tree and it’s disappointing," Mr Bridges said. "It’s not the Wellbeing Budget, it’s the Winston Budget."

They have released 22 pages with details of many Budget portfolios. It did not include education funding or any details about specific mental heath funding. 

Read more:  Despite new focus on 'wellbeing', Budget 'won’t be perfect', Jacinda Ardern says

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

"There's money for tanks but not for teachers, there’s money for trees but not for teeth."

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

National sent out what it claims are details of the Budget while Ms Ardern was speaking to media before her Labour Caucus meeting.

It later added a section on agriculture, biosecurity, fisheries and food safety at 1.30pm, which National claimed showed that "oceans isn’t a priority for this Government, nor is keeping the Green Party happy". 

In another media statement just before 5pm, National says it can reveal the Government will fund a Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission as part of Budget 2019.

“In addition to what we’ve already released today, The National Party can now reveal the details about spending on mental health and Vote Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations for 2019/20.

“Vote Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations increases by $4 million next year to $55 million. Clearly, settling historic Treaty of Waitangi claims is not a priority for this Government," Mr Bridges says.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern denied there had been a leak to the National Party. 

"I would never take the National Party statements as read, I have seen the patently incorrect things they've said recently on crime statistics, just wrong.

Budget 2019

"Opposition is going to do what the Opposition does best. Our five priorities we have made very clear. I do not take as read anything from the National Party. They are our Opposition. It is their prerogative if they wish to speculate."

It comes after sections of the cannabis referendum Cabinet paper was leaked to the National Party.

A shift to a low-emission economy, moving to a digitalised nation, reducing child poverty, lifting incomes and opportunities for Māori and Pacific people, and focusing on improving the mental wellbeing of youth are set to be prioritised in the upcoming 2019 Budget, the Government has said.