Craig Kelly poses with a pallet of fake trillion dollar notes in response to the 2021 budget (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

First fact-check of the day ‘Twas the morning of the budget. Finance Minister Simon “Birmo” Birmingham marked the occasion by eagerly tweeting a photo of Parliament House’s famous Budget Tree, looking lush and resplendent under a glorious blue autumnal sky.

Except it’s glum and overcast in Canberra today. And the Japanese Maple looks threadbare, stripped by a week of wind and drizzle. The leaves have all fallen onto the courtyard. Whether this is a metaphor for today’s budget remains to be seen.

Election watch Much of the pre-budget narrative has coalesced around the unexpected strength of Australia’s economic recovery, and a series of measures generous enough to leave Labor wedged.