New Zealand Labour Party

Our Budget Responsibility Rules: Unpacked

We want an economy that works for all New Zealanders, which allows us to invest in housing, health, and education. And that means one that is run responsibly, fairly and within our means.

With that in mind, we’ve set out five rules by which we’ll manage New Zealand’s economy:

Rule 1: We’ll deliver surpluses.

A surplus is when a Government has money left over at the end of the year. Having one is a good sign that we’re living within our means and planning well.

We’ll have a surplus every year, unless there’s a significant event like a natural disaster or a major economic crisis (here’s hoping that doesn’t happen!). If there is a crisis, we will make up for that in the good times.

Rule 2: We’ll reduce debt.

At the moment, New Zealand’s in record debt, and National hasn’t paid off a cent.

Within five years of taking office, Labour will reduce that debt so that future generations of Kiwis have more options.

Rule 3: We’ll plan ahead for New Zealand’s future.

We need to be responsible and make wise choices about the future. That’s why we’ll invest in stuff that will benefit Kiwis long-term - like the Super Fund.

Rule 4: We’ll spend wisely.

Over the last 20 years, government spending has been at around 30% of GDP. We’ll keep it at around that level, and focus spending on the programmes that do the most good for New Zealanders.

Rule 5: We’ll make sure we have a fair tax system.

We’ll pay for our good investments by having a tax system that is fair, balanced, and progressive.

We'll create an independent body to make sure that these rules are being delivered - it'll tell you if we are not keeping these promises.

We've created these rules to help make sure that Kiwis have a great quality of life, and so Kiwis can be sure we’re making really good decisions about what we do with your money. Labour stands for shared prosperity of all of New Zealanders, and future generations of Kiwis.

Click here to read our Budget Responsibility Rules in full.