The Labour Party has begun the process of reviewing the set of rules which keeps debt and overall Government spending in check.

This comes as the Greens embark on a similar path, last week asking its members for feedback on whether or not the party should re-sign up to the Budget Responsibility Rules (BRRs).

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the Labour Party was in the process of reviewing all its policies before the 2020 election and the BRRs would "absolutely" be a part of that.

He added that the review of the rules was "well under way".


Labour's policy has always been that the rules would be relooked at before next year's election.

"This is a very normal part of what political parties do and we will certainly do it to," Robertson said.

Labour's general secretary Andre Anderson said the party's subcommittee on its economic policies was in the process of looking at the BRRs.

Their recommendation will be discussed at the party's annual conference in November and then subsequently talked about with Labour MPs after that.

"It's a long and involved process that starts from the grassroots and works its way up through the party."

Before the 2017 election, both Labour and the Greens committed to the rules, which include getting net debt below 20 per cent of GDP by 2022 and keeping Government spending levels at 30 per cent of GDP.

But the rules have come under fire, with members of both parties saying they are too restrictive.

In fact, economist Shamubeel Eaqub called the rules a "fiscal straight jacket," this time last year.


So far, the Government has stayed well within the two main BBR parameters.

In December, the Half Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) showed that net Government debt was forecast to fall to 19 per cent by June 2022.

Government's spending was forecast to remain below 30 per cent over the next five years.

Critics say the Government has room to borrow and spend more, but the BRRs are preventing that from happening.

Last week, in an email to its members, the Green's policy committee co-conveners said it was looking for people to help review its fiscal policies.

"We know there is particular interest in the Budget Responsibility Rules (BRR) and the Green Party's position on these. One of the aims of the policy review is to inform what fiscal policy positions we will be taking into the 2020 general election."

The email said there will be an opportunity to discuss the BRR at next month's Summer Policy Conference.

Meanwhile, Cabinet today received the Tax Working Group's final report.