After six hours being locked-up in the dungeons of Parliament House, raking through thousands of pages of facts, figures and government spin, and eating some of the worst sandwiches known to man, Australia’s political and economic commentators have been released from the Budget lock-up and back into civilisation.

Here’s a round-up of their first impressions of Budget 2010:

The Australian

Dennis Shanahan: Swan rides mining boom to early surplus

… a budget that truly lived up to Wayne Swan’s rhetoric of being a “no frills and give-aways”

Sydney Morning Herald

Peter Hartcher: Masterfully inactive; gratefully alert

The Rudd Government has delivered a zen budget – it’s more about what’s not happening than what is happening.

Chalpat Sonti: Few presents for the West

While individuals got a few small surprises in today’s budget, the big-ticket projects missed out.

The Age

Tony Wright: Swan makes a virtue out of the code word for boring

Wayne Swan, stripped of all hope of flinging money about in the accepted and expected manner during an election year, has gone for the Mummy word.

Katharine Murphy: Swan unveils budget with a capital ‘E’

This is not about elections, Wayne Swan told us censoriously from the podium this evening.

Lenore Taylor: Ignore the Treasurer’s denials, this absolutely is an election budget

… a narrative written precisely to take the government all the way to the election.

Tim Lester: Fiscal austerity, but tax returns set to go

…a budget that defies the old political logic of giving voters a raft of goodies in an election year.

Malcolm Maiden: Who gets the credit for this quietly robust budget?

The opposition will of course say the government is just a bunch of spivs who got lucky.

Adelaide Advertiser

A no-frills Budget to make or break Rudd:

You’ll get more cash in your savings accounts, tax time will be simpler and there’ll be a little bit more in your take-home pay.

Daily Telegraph

Jim Dickins: Swan’s Budget is Operation Save Kevin:

He promised a workmanlike Budget but Wayne Swan looked more like a combat surgeon conducting Operation Save Kevin Rudd today

AAP

Wayne Swan delivers ‘boring’ Budget:

To underline how well Australia has withstood the global financial crisis, the treasurer needed only to utter one word: Greece.

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Peter Fray
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