Australian Government, 2010‑11 Budget
Budget

Appendix B: Historical Australian Government Data

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

Data sources

Data is sourced from Australian Government Final Budget Outcomes, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), and Australian Government Consolidated Financial Statements.

  • Accrual data from 1996‑97 onwards and cash data, net debt data, net financial worth data and net worth data from 1999‑2000 onwards are sourced from Australian Government Final Budget Outcomes. Back‑casting adjustments for accounting classification changes and other revisions have been made from 1998‑1999 onwards where applicable.
  • Cash data prior to 1999‑2000 are sourced from ABS data, which have been calculated using methodology consistent with that used for later years in ABS cat. no. 5512.0 Government Finance Statistics.
  • Net debt data prior to 1999‑2000 are from ABS cat. no. 5512.0 Government Finance Statistics 2003‑04 in 1998‑99, ABS cat. no. 5501.0 Government Financial Estimates 1999‑2000 and ABS cat. no. 5513.0 Public Sector Financial Assets and Liabilities 1998 in 1987‑88 to 1997‑98, and Treasury estimates (see Treasury's Economic Roundup, Spring 1996, pages 97‑103) prior to 1987‑88.

Comparability of data across years

The data set contains a number of structural breaks due to accounting classification differences and changes to the structure of the Budget which cannot be eliminated through back‑casting due to data limitations. These breaks can affect the comparability of data across years, especially when the analysis is taken over a large number of years. Specific factors causing structural breaks include:

  • from 2005‑06 onwards, underlying Government Finance Statistics (GFS) data are provided by agencies in accordance with Australian Equivalents to International Financial Reporting Standards (AEIFRS). Prior to 2005‑06, underlying GFS data are based on data provided by agencies in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards (AAS);
  • most recent accounting classification changes that require revisions to the historic series have been back‑cast (where applicable) to 1998‑1999, ensuring that data is consistent across the accrual period from 1998‑1999 onwards. However, because of data limitations these changes have not been back‑cast to earlier years;
  • prior to 1999‑2000, Australian Government general government sector debt instruments are valued at historic cost, whereas from 1999‑2000 onwards they are valued at market prices (consistent with accrual GFS standards). This affects net debt and net interest payments;
  • cash data up to and including 1997‑98 are calculated under a cash accounting framework, while cash data from 1998‑99 onwards are derived from an accrual accounting framework.1 Although the major methodological differences associated with the move to the accrual framework have been eliminated through back‑casting, comparisons across the break may still be affected by changes to some data sources and collection methodologies;
  • 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;
  • changes in arrangements for transfer payments, where tax concessions or rebates have been 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; and
  • 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).

Revisions to previously published data

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

Revisions since the 2011‑12 Budget

The 2010‑11 Final Budget Outcome (FBO) includes revisions to the historical series to reflect the change in accounting treatment for expenditure incurred under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements program. The change involved the recognition of total expenses in the year when the disaster occurs rather than at the time when the State or Territory lodges a claim for reimbursement following the completion of reconstruction works. This change is now back-cast in the historical series for all published periods and affects expenses, fiscal balance, net worth and net financial worth for the general government sector.

Deflating real spending growth by the consumer price index

The 2010‑11 FBO calculates real spending growth using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as the deflator. This is also the benchmark against which the Government's fiscal strategy is based. Prior to the 2008‑09 Budget the non‑farm GDP deflator (NFGDP) was used and has therefore been shown in this statement for comparative purposes.

The use of the CPI, rather than the non‑farm GDP deflator, provides a more accurate depiction of real government spending growth, especially in the current economic climate. The non‑farm GDP deflator incorporates fluctuations in global commodity prices, which are not relevant for Government expenditures. Therefore, deflating government spending by the non‑farm GDP deflator distorts trends in real spending growth.

Table B1: Australian Government general government sector receipts, payments and underlying cash balance(a)

Table B1: Australian Government general government sector receipts, payments and underlying cash balance(a)

  1. Data has been revised in the 2010‑11 Final Budget Outcome to improve accuracy and comparability through time.
  2. Receipts are equal to receipts from operating activities and sales of non‑financial assets.
  3. Payments are equal to payments for operating activities, purchases of non‑financial assets and net acquisition of assets under finance leases.
  4. Underlying cash balance is equal to receipts less payments, less 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.
  5. Real spending growth using Non‑Farm GDP as the deflator has not been used as the relevant measure of real spending growth in the Budget since 2007‑08, and is included for comparative purposes only. Real spending growth, using the Consumer Price Index as the deflator, is the benchmark against which the Government's fiscal strategy has been based since it was introduced.

Table B2: Australian Government general government sector taxation receipts, non‑taxation receipts and total receipts(a)

Table B2: Australian Government general government sector taxation receipts, non­taxation receipts and total receipts(a)

  1. Data has been revised in the 2010‑11 Final Budget Outcome to improve accuracy and comparability through time.
  2. Receipts are equal to receipts from operating activities and sales of non‑financial assets.

Table B3: Australian Government general government sector net debt and net interest payments(a)

Table B3: Australian Government general government sector net debt and net interest payments(a)

  1. Data has been revised in the 2010‑11 Final Budget Outcome to improve accuracy and comparability through time.
  2. Net debt is equal to the sum of deposits held, advances received, government securities, loans and other borrowing, minus the sum of cash and deposits, advances paid and investments, loans and placements.
  3. Net interest payments are equal to the difference between interest paid and interest receipts.

Table B4: Australian Government general government sector revenue, expenses, net capital investment and fiscal balance(a)

Table B4: Australian Government general government sector revenue, expenses, net capital investment and fiscal balance(a)

  1. Data has been revised in the 2010‑11 Final Budget Outcome to improve accuracy and comparability through time.
  2. Fiscal balance is equal to revenue less expenses less net capital investment.

Table B5: Australian Government general government sector net worth and net financial worth(a)

Table B5: Australian Government general government sector net worth and net financial worth(a)

  1. Data has been revised in the 2010‑11 Final Budget Outcome to improve accuracy and comparability through time.
  2. Net worth is equal to assets less liabilities.
  3. Net financial worth is equal to financial assets less liabilities.

Table B6: Australian Government general government sector accrual taxation revenue, non‑taxation revenue and total revenue(a)

Table B6: Australian Government general government sector accrual taxation revenue, non­taxation revenue and total revenue(a)

  1. Data has been revised in the 2010‑11 Final Budget Outcome to improve accuracy and comparability through time.

Table B7: Australian Government cash receipts, payments and surplus by institutional sector ($m)(a)

Table B7: Australian Government cash receipts, payments and surplus by institutional sector ($m)(a)

  1. Data has been revised in the 2010‑11 Final Budget Outcome to improve accuracy and comparability through time.
  2. Receipts are equal to receipts from operating activities and sales of non‑financial assets.
  3. Payments are equal to payments for operating activities, purchases of non‑financial assets and net acquisition of assets under finance leases.
  4. These items exclude Future Fund earnings from 2005‑06 onwards. Future Fund earnings are shown in Table B1.

na Data not available.

Table B8: Australian Government accrual revenue, expenses and fiscal balance by institutional sector ($m)(a)

Table B8: Australian Government accrual revenue, expenses and fiscal balance by institutional sector ($m)(a)

  1. Data has been revised in the 2010‑11 Final Budget Outcome to improve accuracy and comparability through time.
  2. 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.


1 Prior to the 2008‑09 Budget, cash data calculated under the cash accounting framework was used up to and including 1998‑99. In the 2008‑09 Budget, cash data prior to 1998‑99 was replaced by ABS data derived from the accrual framework.

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