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Cabinet paper

Cabinet Paper CAB-19-SUB-0215: Establishing an Independent Fiscal Institution

Issue date: 
Friday, 11 February 2022
Version note: 

Some parts of this information release would not be appropriate to release and, if requested, would be withheld under the Official Information Act 1982 (the Act). Where information has been withheld, no public interest has been identified that would outweigh the reasons for withholding it.

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Document Date: 
Tuesday, 7 May 2019
Publication category: 
Ministerial Portfolio: 

Accessible HTML version

Only the Proposal and Executive Summary sections of this Cabinet paper are extracted below in HTML. If you require a full HTML version please contact [email protected] and cite CAB-19-SUB-0215 as a reference.

Cabinet Paper CAB-19-SUB-0215: Establishing an Independent Fiscal Institution


  1. This paper proposes establishing an independent fiscal institution (IFI). The paper proposes the functions the IFI should undertake and sets out options for the institutional form. A further Cabinet paper will seek decisions on detailed operational design.

Executive Summary

  1. In order to deliver the Budget Responsibility Rules and Policy Costing Unit manifesto commitments made by parties that now make up the Government, we propose establishing an IFI to undertake the following functions, consistent with the stated overarching purpose.

To enhance fiscal responsibility, accountability and transparency, promote better informed public debate, and strengthen Parliamentary scrutiny.

Fiscal council functions

Assess compliance with the government’s fiscal strategy.

  • Comment on the Treasury’s economic and fiscal forecasts.
  • Comment on long-term fiscal sustainability and key fiscal risks.
  • Produce research and information relating to its fiscal council functions.
Policy costing functions
  • Provide financial costings of political party policies, including election manifestos and any costings requested during negotiations to form a government.
  • Produce research and information relating to its policy costing function.
  1. Our preference is to appoint a new Officer of Parliament to carry out the IFI’s functions. We consider this appropriate given the functions are being established to provide a check on the Executive, and the need for a high level of independence in carrying out the functions. Bipartisan support is usually required to create a new Officer of Parliament.
  2. We propose establishing the IFI from 1 July 2021, to allow sufficient time to pass legislation and set up the new body. As this date falls after the next general election, we also propose establishing an interim unit in the Treasury to undertake the policy costing function in the build-up to the election.

[Extract ends]

Last updated: 
Friday, 11 February 2022