5519.0.55.001 - Government Finance Statistics, Australia, September Quarter 2015 Quality Declaration
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/12/2015
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SEPTEMBER QUARTER 2015 KEY FIGURES: ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT
In the September quarter 2015:
GFS KEY FIGURES: ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT, ORIGINAL
QUARTERLY NATIONAL ACCOUNTS PUBLIC SECTOR MEASURES – KEY FIGURES
The table below includes the key public sector aggregates for the September quarter 2015 which will be included in the Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no. 5206.0). The key figures shown include Government Final Consumption Expenditure for general government and Gross Fixed Capital Formation for general government and public corporations, seasonally adjusted in current prices and chain volume terms.
In the September quarter 2015:
QUARTERLY NATIONAL ACCOUNTS PUBLIC SECTOR MEASURES – KEY FIGURES, SEASONALLY ADJUSTED
(a) See paragraph 37 of the Explanatory Notes for the relationship between general government final consumption expenditure and GFS aggregates.
(b) Reference year for chain volume measures is 2012–13.
SEPTEMBER QUARTER 2015 GFS RELEASE
This release presents quarterly government finance statistics on an accrual accounting basis. All tables are presented in GFS operating statement format and are for the general government sector, with the exception of Table 2 which presents data for the public non-financial corporations sector.
Detailed quarterly GFS are released for the current financial year only, other than in the September quarter, when the quarters of the previous financial year are presented. Users requiring data for earlier periods should consult the annual publication Government Finance Statistics, Australia (cat. no. 5512.0). The latest issue (2013–14) was released on 13 May 2015. Final annual GFS results for 2014–15 are scheduled for release by the ABS on 26 April 2016.
RELEASE OF QUARTERLY GFS THIS ISSUE
Government Finance Statistics are part of the broader suite of macroeconomic accounts produced by the ABS. They share their basic concepts with the National Accounts and Balance of Payments. The conceptual framework is agreed internationally and published by the International Monetary Fund. Macroeconomic statistics are compiled to enable macroeconomic analysis and the standards may differ from accounting standards in some regards.
TRANSACTIONS RELATED TO RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA DIVIDENDS
During September quarter 2015 the Treasurer determined that a sum of $1.9 billion in Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) earnings available for distribution from 2014-15 was payable as a dividend to the Commonwealth. Historically in macroeconomic statistics, RBA dividends are recorded at the time that the Treasurer makes the determination. The National Accounts will record RBA dividends in the September quarter in line with this position. The GFS publication for September quarter 2015 will record RBA dividends in the June quarter to align with accounting standards used for Commonwealth Financial Statements. The timing of RBA dividends within macroeconomic statistics will be reviewed in early 2016.
TRANSACTIONS RELATED TO THE ACT GOVERNMENT ASBESTOS REMOVAL SCHEME
Since March quarter 2015, the ACT Government has undertaken a range of activities to address the health risks associated with properties affected by asbestos. In macroeconomic statistics, transactions for the initial purchase of the properties by the ACT Government from householders have been recorded as expenditure on non-financial assets in the GFS. These transactions do not contribute to the net operating balance on the operating statement; instead they are shown under net acquisition of non-financial assets. This approach in macroeconomic statistics is based on the principle that observed prices are treated as a market price in most circumstances.
The ACT Treasury has applied a different interpretation for the purposes of preparing its financial statements. Under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles used by ACT Treasury, homeowner acquisition transactions may include a transfer component, which would be appropriately recognised as an expense. The ABS acknowledges that a genuine divergence exists for these transactions between GFS and the ACT Government’s consolidated financial statements and that the difference between the sets of statements has arisen through a change in treatment by the ABS.
TREATMENT OF THE EMISSION REDUCTION FUND IN GOVERNMENT FINANCE STATISTICS
On 23 April 2015 the Commonwealth Government held the first reverse auction for carbon abatement contracts related to the Emission Reduction Fund. The fund has been established to purchase carbon abatement activity from private sector bidders. The first auction awarded contracts to the value of $660 million. Payments related to these contracts will be recognised in Government Finance Statistics as an operating expense of government when the abatement activity occurs.
ABOLITION OF THE CARBON TAX
The carbon tax repeal legislation received Royal Assent on Thursday, 17 July 2014 and the bills as part of this package are now law, with effect from 1 July 2014. The carbon tax repeal decreased taxation revenue on the GFS Commonwealth General Government operating statement by approximately $1.6b in the September 2014 quarter. Further information on the treatment of emissions schemes in ABS GFS data can be found in the ABS GFS Manual.
The release of GFS quarterly data is usually coordinated to be the day before the respective issue of Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no. 5206.0). The scheduled release dates for the next two issues are:
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