Total accrual expenses were $206.1 billion in 2005-06. This is $78 million higher than the estimate provided in the 2006-07 Budget. Expenses that were higher than estimated include:
- $500 million for the grant to the Murray-Darling Basin Commission due to the determination by the Australian National Audit Office that the grant was required to be expensed in 2005-06 rather than over five years beginning in 2006-07;
- $388 million due to the expensing of the acquisition of certain specialist military equipment in accordance with the Government Finance Statistics framework rather than the previous classification as an asset; and
- $169 million for the Superannuation Co-contribution programme due mainly to the adoption of an improved methodology for estimating the impact on accrued expenses for people who have not yet lodged their claims.
These were partially offset by lower than anticipated expenses including:
- $249 million due to estimates of assistance for those affected by Cyclone Larry exceeding actual take-up;
- $216 million for the Family Tax Benefit largely due to lower than estimated entitlements, as a result of an increase in the estimate of the average income of recipients (which determines the size of the benefit);
- $92 million for Youth Allowance largely due to the lower than expected uptake of the allowance by new apprentices and a decline in the number of students applying for assistance; and
- $84 million for the Medical Indemnity programme as law reform and improved industry stability has, in the short term, reduced the level of industry demand for Government assistance.
Table 3 provides information on Government Finance Statistics (GFS) general government sector expenses by function.
Table 3: Australian Government general government sector expenses by function
- Asset sale related expenses are treated as a component of the contingency reserve.