Part 1: Australia's Federal Relations
The 2015‑16 Budget is focused on building jobs, growth and opportunity, while making progress in restoring Australia's budget position.
This Budget provides a sound basis from which longer‑term arrangements with the states can be considered in both the Reform of the Federation White Paper, and the White Paper on the Reform of Australia's Tax System.
The Commonwealth is ensuring certainty in service provision in the following key areas:
- a new two year National Partnership on homelessness to maintain critical frontline homelessness services with a particular focus on women and children experiencing domestic violence, and homeless youth;
- a two year extension to the National Partnership on universal access to early childhood education to provide affordable, quality early childhood education programmes for all children; and
- a new five year National Partnership on legal assistance services which extends the current arrangements for Legal Aid Commissions and will provide Commonwealth funding for Community Legal Centres.
This Budget also details the Commonwealth's ongoing commitment to expedite investment in high quality economic infrastructure.
The Commonwealth is continuing its investment in the Northern Territory to address Indigenous disadvantage through an eight year National Partnership on Northern Territory remote Aboriginal investment.
Total payments to the states
The Commonwealth provides substantial levels of funding to the states, in key sectors such as health, education, community services and affordable housing, and continues to support important productivity‑enhancing projects and reforms in the skills and workforce development and infrastructure sectors.
In 2015‑16, the Commonwealth will provide the states with payments totalling $107.7 billion. This represents a $6.0 billion increase compared to 2014‑15. Total payments to the states from 2014‑15 to 2017‑18 have increased by $268 million since the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2014‑15. Total payments to the states as a proportion of Commonwealth expenditure are estimated to be 24.8 per cent in 2015‑16.
Payments for specific purposes
In 2015‑16, the Commonwealth will provide the states with $50.0 billion in payments for specific purposes, an increase of $3.4 billion compared with $46.5 billion in 2014‑15. Payments for specific purposes as a proportion of Commonwealth expenditure are estimated to be 11.5 per cent in 2015‑16.
National Specific Purpose Payments (National SPPs), along with National Health Reform and Students First funding are expected to total $36.4 billion in 2015‑16, a change of $2.1 billion from $34.3 billion in 2014‑15.
National Partnership payments are expected to be $13.6 billion in 2015‑16, a change of $1.3 billion from $12.3 billion in 2014‑15.
Part 2 of this Budget Paper provides further information on payments to the states for specific purposes.
General revenue assistance
General revenue assistance, which principally comprises GST entitlements, provides an untied funding base to support the delivery of state services.
In 2015‑16, the states are expected to receive $57.7 billion in general revenue assistance, comprising GST payments of $57.1 billion and other general revenue assistance of $698.9 million. This is an increase of $2.6 billion from $55.2 billion in 2014‑15. Payments for general revenue assistance are estimated to be 13.3 per cent of Commonwealth expenditure in 2015‑16.
Part 3 of this Budget Paper provides further information on general revenue assistance to the states, including GST.
(a) As state allocations for a small number of programmes have yet to be determined, these payments are not reflected in state totals. As such, total payments for specific purposes may not equal the sum of state totals.
(b) As state allocations for royalties are not published due to commercial sensitivities, these payments are not reflected in state totals. As such, total general revenue assistance will not equal the sum of the state totals.
For 2015‑16, total payments to the states as a proportion of GDP are estimated to be 6.5 per cent, with payments for specific purposes estimated to be 3.0 per cent and general revenue assistance estimated to be 3.5 per cent.
Reform funding (a)
|Total||Per cent change
from prior year
(a) New indexation arrangements for public hospital funding will apply from July 2017.
(b) New indexation arrangements for schools funding will apply from January 2018.
(c) Includes financial assistance grants for local government and payments direct to local government.