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Australian Government Coat of Arms

Budget | 2015-16

Budget 2015-16
Australian Government Coat of Arms, Budget 2015-16

Part 2: Expense Measures (continued)

Treasury

Asia Pacific Project Preparation Facility — Australian contribution

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of the Treasury 5.0 5.0

The Government will provide $10.0 million over two years from 2015‑16 to the Asian Development Bank's Asia Pacific Project Preparation Facility (AP3F). The AP3F is being established to prepare bankable public‑private partnership infrastructure projects in the Asia‑Pacific region so they can attract and secure financing from private sector sources. The AP3F will help address impediments to private sector investment, including through supporting project design and by assisting in preparing, structuring and placing projects with private investors.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 1 May 2015 issued by the Treasurer and the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Australian Bureau of Statistics — business transformation

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Australian Bureau of Statistics ‑9.0 20.8 151.9 ‑5.0 ‑7.7
Department of Finance
Total — Expense ‑9.0 20.8 151.9 ‑5.0 ‑7.7
Australian Bureau of Statistics ‑1.6 ‑3.6 ‑4.1 ‑3.3
Australian Bureau of Statistics ‑13.3 ‑2.4 4.6 14.3 4.7

The Government will provide $234.7 million over five years from 2014‑15 (including $85.2 million in capital funding) to enhance the core capacity of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

This includes $219.6 million over four years from 2015‑16 to implement a major business transformation programme, that will re‑engineer business processes and systems that support the production of statistical outputs. A further $36.8 million will be provided in 2019‑20. Investment in ABS statistical infrastructure is expected to realise savings of around $26 million a year from 2020‑21.

The funding also includes $11.2 million over four years from 2015‑16 for the production of input output tables which underpin Australia's national accounts.

The Government will also provide $0.5 million over four years to the Department of Finance to undertake gateway reviews of the business transformation project.

Funding for this measure has already been provided for by the Government.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission — Competition for Market Services — continuation

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Australian Securities and Investments Commission 3.2 3.1 3.2 3.2
Australian Securities and Investments Commission 3.2 3.1 3.2 3.2

The Government will provide $12.7 million over four years to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to maintain the Changes to Market Structure and Competition for Market Services policy and market integrity rules. This will help protect retail investors by ensuring the integrity of the financial markets by detecting and prosecuting market misconduct. The funding for the measure will be offset by fees levied by ASIC.

Community engagement campaign on economic issues

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of the Treasury 6.2

The Government will provide funding to the Department of the Treasury in 2014‑15 for a community engagement campaign to assist the community in understanding Australia's economic challenges, as outlined in the 2015 Intergenerational Report.

This measure includes $1.1 million to be provided to the Department of Social Services for a community engagement campaign to assist the community in understanding the Age Pension and pensioner concessions.

Funding for this measure has already been provided for by the Government.

Cutting Red Tape — lost and unclaimed superannuation

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Australian Taxation Office

The Government will implement a package of measures that will reduce red tape for superannuation funds and individuals by removing redundant reporting obligations and by streamlining lost and unclaimed superannuation administrative arrangements. The changes will make it easier for individuals to be reunited with their lost and unclaimed superannuation. The measures will have effect from 1 July 2016.

The cost of implementing the measures will be met from within the existing resources of the Australian Taxation Office.

Developing Northern Australia — Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of the Treasury 1.0 388.3 388.8 388.8
Department of the Treasury 61.3 122.3 182.8

The Government will establish a concessional loan facility of up to $5 billion, with the objective of increasing private sector investment in infrastructure in northern Australia. The loan facility will be open for applications from 1 July 2015. The loan facility will not impact on the underlying cash balance, but has a negative fiscal balance impact of $793.9 million over three years from 2016‑17, reflecting the impact of booking in full the concessional component of the loans in the year that they are made. The Government is expected to receive interest payments from 2021‑22.

The Government will also provide $8.5 million to the Department of the Treasury over five years from 2015‑16 to engage expert advice on the appropriate eligibility criteria and governance for the proposed facility and for financial, commercial and legal advice required before entering into any loan contract.

The cost of the Government's borrowing to finance the loan facility has a negative underlying cash and fiscal balance impact of $138.0 million over three years from 2016‑17.

This measure will form part of the Government's White Paper on Developing Northern Australia.

Developing Northern Australia — Northern Australia Insurance Premiums Taskforce — establishment

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of the Treasury 1.4

The Government will provide $2.1 million over two years to establish a taskforce to assess ways to reduce home, contents and strata insurance premiums in Northern Australia. Given that the biggest driver of higher insurance prices in some regions of Northern Australia is cyclone risk, the taskforce will examine whether the Government could provide support to a reinsurance pool or a mutual insurer that provides cyclone—specific cover.

This funding includes $0.7 million to be redirected from the $1.2 million provided to the Department of the Treasury in the 2014—15 Budget measure titled Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation — assess future options.

Further information can be found in the press release of 30 March 2015 issued by the Assistant Treasurer.

This measure will form part of the Government's White Paper on Developing Northern Australia.

Growing Jobs and Small Business — crowd‑sourced equity funding for public companies

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Australian Securities and Investments Commission 1.2 1.8 1.7 1.6
Australian Securities and Investments Commission 1.4

The Government will provide $7.8 million over four years from 2015‑16 to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to implement and monitor a regulatory framework to facilitate the use of crowd‑source equity funding (CSEF), including simplified reporting and disclosure requirements.

CSEF is an emerging form of funding that allows entrepreneurs to raise funds online from a large number of small investors and has the potential to increase funding options available for entrepreneurs to assist in the development of their business.

The Government's Growing Jobs and Small Business package will help small business invest more, grow, and employ more Australians.

Growing Jobs and Small Business — streamlining business registration

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Australian Taxation Office 0.3 8.4 4.6 0.1
Department of Industry and Science 0.7 1.4 0.9 0.9
Australian Securities and Investments Commission .. 1.6
Total — Expense 0.3 9.1 7.5 1.0 0.9
Australian Taxation Office 0.5 5.5 0.4
Australian Securities and Investments Commission 4.5 0.6
Department of Industry and Science 2.2
Total — Capital 0.5 12.1 0.9

The Government will make a provision of $32.4 million over five years from 2014‑15 (including capital of $13.5 million over three years from 2014‑15) for the Australian Taxation Office, Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Department of Industry and Science, to develop a single online portal for business and company registration; publish new computer code to enable developers to build new registration software; and reduce the number of business identifiers.

Funding for this proposal is contingent on a second pass business case.

The Government's Growing Jobs and Small Business package will help small business invest more, grow and employ more Australians.

Inspector‑General of Taxation — additional funding

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Inspector-General of Taxation 3.3 3.4 3.4 3.5
Inspector-General of Taxation 0.8 0.2

The Government will provide $14.6 million over five years to the Inspector‑General of Taxation to support its operations.

This funding is in addition to the 2014‑15 Budget measure titled Inspector‑General of Taxation — transfer of tax complaints handling.

Reducing red tape — reforms to the Australian Taxation Office

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Australian Taxation Office 20.3 7.5 ‑14.3 ‑48.9
Australian Taxation Office 18.8 5.9 5.4 5.5

The Government will provide $130.9 million over four years (including capital of $35.6 million) to deliver an improved experience for clients in their dealings with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Red tape will be reduced and future administrative savings delivered through investment in three foundational initiatives: a digital by default service for provision of information and making payments, improvements to data and analytics infrastructure and enhancing streamlined income tax returns through the myTax system for taxpayers with more complex tax affairs.

The package of service improvements supports the Government's commitment to reduce red tape and forms part of the Government's digital transformation agenda.

The costs of this measure will be met from within the existing resourcing of the ATO. The measure has no net impact on total ATO resourcing over the forward estimates period.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment.

Reversal of Banking and Life Insurance unclaimed provisions

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Australian Securities and Investments Commission ‑78.9 ‑83.0 ‑86.1 ‑89.2
Australian Securities and Investments Commission ‑119.2 ‑122.2 ‑125.3 ‑128.4

The Government will protect the savings of Australians through improvements to the way that unclaimed money in savings accounts and life insurance policies are managed. The government will restore the time before they are transferred to the government from three years to seven years, reversing the changes made by the previous government in 2012.

Children's bank accounts will also be exempt to ensure funds put aside in these accounts will never be transferred to the government.

The Government will also make changes to protect the privacy of individuals that do have genuinely inactive accounts transferred to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) to address concerns around identity theft and to stop unscrupulous people preying on vulnerable Australians. Requirements for ASIC to publish the Unclaimed Money Gazette will be removed and restrictions introduced to generally limit FOI requests to an individual's own details.

Changes will take effect from 31 December 2015 with a negative cash impact of $285.1 million and a fiscal balance impact of $158.0 million over four years from 2015‑16.

Western Australia Infrastructure Projects

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of the Treasury 499.1
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
Total — Expense 499.1

The Australian Government will provide $499.1 million in 2014‑15 towards economic infrastructure projects in Western Australia. This funding will assist Western Australia adjust to the downturn in the resources sector.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 6 May 2015 issued by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Finance.

World Bank Global Infrastructure Facility — Australian contribution

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of the Treasury 12.5 12.5

The Government will provide $25.0 million over two years from 2015‑16 to the World Bank's Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF). The GIF is being established as a global platform to facilitate greater private sector investment in the infrastructure of emerging market and developing countries. The GIF will focus on both upstream advice to create the right investment environments and downstream assistance on financial structures.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 19 April 2015 issued by the Treasurer and the Minister for Foreign Affairs.