Media advisory

Treasury publishes a summary of its advice on new fiscal rules

The Treasury has published a summary paper that outlines its advice on the new fiscal rules announced by Finance Minister Hon Grant Robertson.

In a speech today, Hon Grant Robertson said that the Government will adopt two new fiscal rules: an operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) rule, and a net debt ceiling.

The OBEGAL rule focuses on targeting a small surplus over time (in the range of 0-2% of GDP) as the main fiscal rule for informing fiscal strategy decisions. This will be coupled with a net debt ceiling of 30% of GDP based on a new debt measure that includes Crown entity borrowings, financial advances (such as student loans) and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. This net debt ceiling is equivalent to 50% of GDP based on the net debt measure used until now.

The summary paper The Treasury’s analysis and recommendations for fiscal rules sets out the key recommendations that the Treasury has made to the Minister of Finance on these new rules. It also provides a summary of the analysis done by the Treasury over late 2021 and early 2022 to support the advice to the Minister of Finance. Overall, the analytical note covers:

  • criteria for good fiscal rules
  • the Treasury’s recommendations for the indicators to target and the design of fiscal rules
  • the Treasury’s analysis and a framework for the calibration of fiscal rules



Bryan McDaniel, Principal Communications Advisor
Telephone: 021 817 207
Email: [email protected]