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Australian Government Coat of Arms

Budget | 2014-15

Budget 2014-15
Australian Government Coat of Arms, Budget 2014-15

Part 2: Payments for Specific Purposes

Overview of payments

The Commonwealth provides payments to the States for specific purposes in areas administered by the States. These payments cover most functional areas of state and local government activity, including: health; education; skills and workforce development; community services; housing; Indigenous affairs; infrastructure; and the environment.

The Commonwealth currently supports the States in certain service delivery sectors through three National Specific Purpose Payments (National SPPs) — Skills and Workforce Development, Disability Services and Affordable Housing. The States are required to spend each National SPP in the relevant sector.

The National SPPs are ongoing and are indexed each year by growth factors specified in the Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations (the Intergovernmental Agreement). They are distributed amongst the States in accordance with population shares based on the Australian Statistician's determination as at 31 December of that year.

Two former National SPPs have been superseded. On 1 July 2012, the National Healthcare SPP was replaced by National Health Reform funding, which comprises base funding equivalent to the National Healthcare SPP and, from 1 July 2014, efficient growth funding. New indexation arrangements will apply from 1 July 2017 for public hospitals funding. Further details are included in the Health section of this Part.

From 1 January 2014, the National Schools SPP was replaced by funding through the Students First programme. New indexation arrangements will apply for this funding from 1 January 2018. Further details are included in the Education section of this Part.

Under the Intergovernmental Agreement, National Partnership payments to the States are the key vehicle to facilitate reforms or support the delivery of specified projects. National Partnerships are typically entered into for a fixed period of time, reflecting the nature of the project or reform involved.

To the fullest extent possible, payments are aligned with the achievement of project milestones and are made after the States have achieved the outcomes or outputs specified in the relevant National Partnership.

National Partnership agreements are publicly available at: www.federalfinancialrelations.gov.au.

Total payments for specific purposes

Total payments for specific purposes by category are shown in Table 2.1.

Table 2.1: Total payments for specific purposes by category, 2013‑14 to 2017‑18
$million NSW VIC QLD WA SA TAS ACT NT Total(a)
2013‑14                  
National Specific Purpose Payments(b) 3,286 2,568 2,124 1,095 772 227 179 127 10,377
National Health Reform funding 4,350 3,464 2,803 1,517 1,006 299 272 135 13,845
Students First funding(c) 2,112 1,683 1,441 706 523 161 122 123 6,872
National Partnership payments(d) 4,067 4,836 2,779 1,315 676 328 178 507 14,685
Total payments for specific purposes 13,815 12,551 9,147 4,632 2,977 1,015 750 892 45,779
2014‑15                  
National Specific Purpose Payments 1,319 1,028 835 460 295 90 68 43 4,139
National Health Reform funding 4,688 3,716 3,163 1,722 1,078 344 271 135 15,116
Students First funding 4,384 3,519 3,055 1,499 1,074 334 248 260 14,374
National Partnership payments(d) 3,264 2,902 2,739 1,632 724 270 168 603 12,657
Total payments for specific purposes 13,654 11,166 9,792 5,313 3,171 1,039 755 1,041 46,285
2015‑16                  
National Specific Purpose Payments 1,347 1,055 858 478 300 91 70 44 4,243
National Health Reform funding 5,148 4,021 3,471 1,919 1,168 365 298 161 16,551
Students First funding 4,725 3,814 3,401 1,662 1,139 361 262 280 15,646
National Partnership payments(d) 3,628 2,255 2,924 1,334 1,047 328 119 533 13,465
Total payments for specific purposes 14,847 11,145 10,654 5,394 3,655 1,145 749 1,018 49,905
2016‑17                  
National Specific Purpose Payments 1,377 1,082 882 498 306 91 72 45 4,353
National Health Reform funding 5,641 4,346 3,804 2,134 1,264 388 328 189 18,095
Students First funding 5,168 4,095 3,766 1,822 1,207 390 277 306 17,032
National Partnership payments(d) 4,354 2,220 3,170 1,642 733 249 135 504 14,311
Total payments for specific purposes 16,540 11,743 11,622 6,096 3,510 1,119 812 1,044 53,791
2017‑18                  
National Specific Purpose Payments 1,409 1,112 907 519 312 93 74 46 4,471
Public hospitals funding 5,947 4,694 3,829 2,189 1,316 391 311 195 18,872
Students First funding 5,462 4,280 4,049 2,060 1,277 409 300 311 18,149
National Partnership payments(d) 3,270 1,193 2,304 1,213 547 195 130 421 10,294
Total payments for specific purposes 16,088 11,279 11,089 5,980 3,452 1,087 815 973 51,786

(a) As State allocations for a small number of programmes have yet to be determined, these payments are not included in State totals. As such, total payments may not equal the sum of State totals.

(b) Includes National Schools SPP funding, which ceased in December 2013.

(c) Students First funding commenced from January 2014.

(d) Includes financial assistance grants for local government and payments direct to local government.

Total payments for specific purposes by sector are shown in Table 2.2.

Table 2.2: Total payments for specific purposes by sector, 2013‑14 to 2017‑18
$million 2013‑14 2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18
Health 15,855 16,420 17,500 18,764 19,532
Education 14,389 14,879 15,776 17,106 18,196
Skills and workforce development 1,754 1,824 1,837 2,003 1,515
Community services 2,347 2,168 1,766 1,940 2,148
Affordable housing 2,079 1,962 1,748 1,810 1,871
Infrastructure 6,919 5,703 8,022 9,108 5,674
Environment 547 638 703 526 216
Contingent 184 99 19 - -
Other(a) 1,706 2,593 2,533 2,535 2,634
Total payments for specific purposes 45,779 46,285 49,905 53,791 51,786

(a) Includes financial assistance grants for local government.

Total payments for specific purposes by sector and category are shown in Table 2.3.

Table 2.3: Total payments for specific purposes by sector and category, 2013‑14 to 2017‑18
$million 2013‑14 2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18
Health          
National Health Reform funding 13,845 15,116 16,551 18,095 -
Public hospitals funding - - - - 18,872
National Partnerships 2,010 1,304 949 669 660
Total health payments 15,855 16,420 17,500 18,764 19,532
Education          
National Schools SPP(a) 6,352 - - - -
Students First funding(b) 6,872 14,374 15,646 17,032 18,149
National Partnerships 1,165 505 130 73 47
Total education payments 14,389 14,879 15,776 17,106 18,196
Skills and workforce development          
National Skills and Workforce Development SPP 1,409 1,435 1,460 1,487 1,515
National Partnerships 345 389 377 516 -
Total skills and workforce development payments 1,754 1,824 1,837 2,003 1,515
Community services          
National Disability SPP(c) 1,334 1,398 1,455 1,514 1,580
National Partnerships 1,013 770 311 426 568
Total community services payments 2,347 2,168 1,766 1,940 2,148
Affordable housing          
National Affordable Housing SPP 1,283 1,306 1,328 1,352 1,376
National Partnerships 796 656 420 458 495
Total affordable housing payments 2,079 1,962 1,748 1,810 1,871
Infrastructure          
National Partnerships 6,919 5,703 8,022 9,108 5,674
Environment          
National Partnerships 547 638 703 526 216
Contingent payments          
National Partnerships 184 99 19 - -
Other          
National Partnerships(d) 1,706 2,593 2,533 2,535 2,634
Total payments for specific purposes 45,779 46,285 49,905 53,791 51,786

(a) National Schools SPP funding ceased in December 2013.

(b) Students First funding commenced from January 2014.

(c) Does not include National Disability SPP adjustments to achieve budget neutrality as this is still subject to negotiation (see footnotes to Table 2.7 in this Part for further details).

(d) Includes financial assistance grants for local government.

Further information on each of these payments is contained in this Part. New measures associated with payments to the States are included in Budget Paper No. 2, Budget Measures 2014‑15.

Total payments to the States for specific purposes, as categorised by Government Finance Statistics function, are set out in Appendix B, which is available online.