Australian Government, 2006–07 Budget

Appendix C: Historical Fiscal Data

This appendix provides historical data for the Australian Government fiscal aggregates across the general government, public non-financial corporations and non-financial public sectors.

Under the accrual Government Finance Statistics (GFS) framework, flows are recorded in the period in which they occurred. As a result, prior period outcomes may be revised where information arises that could reasonably be expected to have been known in the past, is material in at least one of the affected periods and can be reliably assigned to the relevant period(s).

Estimates up to and including 1998-99 are calculated on cash terms, while estimates from 1999‑2000 onwards are derived from an accrual framework. Due to methodological and data-source changes associated with the move to an accrual accounting framework, time series data that include measures derived under both cash and accrual accounting should be used with caution.

There are other structural breaks within the data set, prior to the shift to accrual reporting. Classification differences and revisions, as well as changes to the structure of the budget, can impact on comparisons over such an extended period.

Specific factors that affect the comparability of data between years include:

  • classification differences in the data relating to the period prior to 1976-77 (which means that earlier data may not be entirely consistent with data for 1976-77 onwards);
  • adjustments in the coverage of agencies included in the accounts of the different sectors. These include the reclassification of Central Banking Authorities from the general government to the public financial corporations sector in 1998-99, and subsequent back-casting to account for this change;
  • consistent with the revised GFS treatment announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (cat. no. 5501.0, released October 2002), the general government surplus measures in this statement, from 1998-99 onwards, incorporate the interest component of superannuation related payments by the Australian Government general government sector in respect of accumulated public non-financial corporations' superannuation liabilities;
  • transfers of taxing powers between the Australian Government and the States;
  • other changes in financial arrangements between the Australian Government and the state/local government sector; and
  • changes in arrangements for transfer payments, where tax concessions or rebates are replaced by payments through the social security system. This has the effect of increasing both cash receipts and payments, as compared with earlier periods, but not changing cash balances. Changes in the opposite direction (tax expenditures replacing payments) reduce both cash payments and receipts.

Cash data from 1998-99 onwards, net debt data from 1999-2000 onwards and accrual data are sourced from Australian Government Final Budget Outcomes and Treasury estimates. Cash data prior to 1998-99 are sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 1997-98 Government Finance Statistics (cat. no. 5512.0), net debt data from 1987-88 to 1998-99 are from ABS 1999-2000 Government Financial Estimates (cat. no. 5501.0) and ABS 1998 Public Sector Financial Assets and Liabilities (cat. no. 5513.0), and net debt data prior to 1987-88 are Treasury estimates.

Occasionally classification changes are made that require revisions to the historic series. Where appropriate, the changes are back-cast to 1999-2000 to ensure that data is consistent across the accrual period. For example, the back-casting to account for the market valuation of net debt as discussed on page 2-12 of Budget Paper No. 1, Budget Strategy and Outlook 2003-04.

While approximate adjustments can be made to identify trends in budget aggregates on a generally consistent basis, the further back the analysis is taken, the more difficult the task becomes.

Table C1: Australian Government general government sector receipts, payments
and underlying cash balance(a)

Table C1: Australian Government general government sector receipts, payments and underlying cash balance(a)

  1. There is a break in the series between 1998-99 and 1999-2000. Data for the years up to and including 1998-99 are consistent with the cash ABS GFS reporting requirements. From 1999-2000, data are derived from an accrual ABS GFS reporting framework, with receipts proxied by receipts from operating activities and sales of non-financial assets, and payments proxied by payments for operating activities, purchases of non-financial assets and net acquisition of assets under finance leases. Due to associated methodological and data source changes, time series data that encompass measures derived under both cash and accrual accounting should be used with caution.
  2. Underlying cash balance is equal to receipts less payments less expected Future Fund earnings. For the purposes of consistent comparison with years prior to 2005-06, Future Fund earnings should be added back to the underlying cash balance.

na Not applicable, due to a structural break in the series.

Table C2: Australian Government general government sector taxation receipts,
non-taxation receipts and total receipts(a)

Table C2: Australian Government general government sector taxation receipts, non-taxation receipts and total receipts(a)

  1. There is a break in the series between 1998-99 and 1999-2000. Data for the years up to and including 1998-99 are consistent with the cash ABS GFS reporting requirements. From 1999-2000, data are derived from an accrual ABS GFS reporting framework, with receipts proxied by receipts from operating activities and sales of non-financial assets. Due to associated methodological and data source changes, time series data that encompass measures derived under both cash and accrual accounting should be treated with caution.
  2. Not applicable, due to a structural break in the series.

Table C3: Australian Government general government sector net debt and
net interest payments(a)

Table C3: Australian Government general government sector net debt and net interest payments(a)

  1. There is a break in the net debt and net interest payments series between 1998-99 and 1999-2000 (the first year of accrual budgeting). Up to 1998-99, Australian Government general government debt instruments are valued at historic cost. From 1999-2000, Australian Government general government debt instruments are valued at market prices, consistent with accrual GFS standards.
  2. Excludes superannuation related interest flows.

Table C4: Australian Government general government sector revenue, expenses, net capital investment, fiscal balance and net worth(a)

Table C4: Australian Government general government sector revenue, expenses, net capital investment, fiscal balance and net worth(a)

  1. The fiscal balance is equal to revenue less expenses less net capital investment. Net worth is calculated as assets less liabilities.
  2. There is a break in the net worth series between 1998-99 and 1999-2000. Data up to 1998-99 are sourced from the Australian Government's Consolidated Financial Statements based on Australian accounting standards. Data beginning in 1999-2000 are based on the GFS framework. For the general government sector, the major change across the break in the series is an improvement in net worth. This is primarily due to the move from valuing investments in public corporations at historic cost to current market value (which is calculated using the share price for listed corporations). This is partly offset by defence weapons platforms no longer being recorded as assets and valuing debt at current market value.

Table C5: Australian Government general government sector accrual taxation revenue, non-taxation revenue and total revenue

Table C5: Australian Government general government sector accrual taxation revenue, non-taxation revenue and total revenue

na Data not available.

Table C6: Australian Government cash receipts, payments and cash surplus by institutional sector(a)

Table C6: Australian Government cash receipts, payments and cash surplus by institutional sector(a)

  1. There is a break in the series between 1998-99 and 1999-2000. Data for the years up to and including 1998-99 are consistent with the cash ABS GFS reporting requirements. From 1999-2000, data are derived from an accrual ABS GFS reporting framework, with receipts proxied by receipts from operating activities and sales of non-financial assets, and payments proxied by payments for operating activities, purchases of non-financial assets and net acquisition of assets under finance leases. Due to associated methodological and data source changes, time series data which encompass measures derived under both cash and accrual accounting should be used with caution.
  2. These items exclude Future Fund earnings from 2005-06 onwards. Future Fund earnings are shown in Table C1.

na Data not available.

Table C7: Australian Government accrual revenue, expenses and fiscal balance by institutional sector(a)

Table C7: Australian Government accrual revenue, expenses and fiscal balance by institutional sector(a)

  1. The fiscal balance is equal to revenue less expenses less net capital investment. Net capital investment is not shown in this table.

na Data not available

Miscellaneous