6537.0 - Government Benefits, Taxes and Household Income, Australia, 2003-04  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/06/2007   
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GLOSSARY

Acute care institution benefits


Includes social transfers in kind derived from government expenses relating to all activities of acute care hospitals, free-standing hospices, alcohol and drug treatment centres, and same-day establishments except activities involving health research and formal health education. Acute care institution benefits are a component of health benefits.


Age


Person's age last birthday.


Age pension


Includes the age pension, as well as additional cash allowances such as rent assistance. Age pension is a component of social assistance benefits in cash.


Assets


An entity of a financial or non-financial nature, owned by the household or its members, and from which economic benefits may be derived by holding or use over a period of time.


Average weekly expenditure


Value obtained by dividing the estimated weekly expenditure of a group of households by the estimated number of households in the group.


Balance of state


That part of each Australian state or territory not defined as capital city. Balance of state estimates for Northern Territory are regarded as too unreliable to publish separately since they exclude collection districts defined as very remote or Indigenous Communities which account for a significant proportion of the population. All of the Australian Capital Territory is defined as capital city for this publication.


Capital cities


Australia's six state capital city statistical divisions and the Darwin statistical division. For the Australian Capital Territory the estimates relate predominantly to urban areas.


Collection district


The census Collection District (CD) is the smallest geographic area defined in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (cat. no. 1216.0).


Consumer Price Index (CPI)


A general measure of price inflation for the household sector in Australia. Specifically, it provides a measure of changes, over time, in the cost of a constant basket of goods and services acquired by the capital city households in Australia.


Community health service benefits


Includes social transfers in kind derived from government expenses relating to community health services such as domiciliary nursing services, well baby clinics, dental health services, health services provided to particular community groups, family planning services, alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs not involving admission, and other health services provided in a community setting. Also includes expenditure on patient transport. Community health service benefits are a component of health benefits.


Couple


Two people in a registered or de facto marriage, who usually live in the same household.


Couple family households with dependent children


One family household consisting of a couple with at least one dependent child. The household may also include non-dependent children, other relatives and unrelated individuals.


Decile


Groupings that result from ranking all households or people in the population in ascending order according to some characteristic such as their household income and then dividing the population into 10 equal groups, each comprising 10% of the estimated population.


Dependent children


All persons aged under 15 years; and people aged 15-24 years who are full-time students, have a parent in the household and do not have a partner or child of their own in the household.


Disability support pension


Includes the disability support pension, as well as additional cash allowances such as rent assistance. Disability support pension is a component of social assistance benefits in cash.


Disposable income


Gross income after income tax and the Medicare levy are deducted and family tax benefit paid through the tax system or as a lump sum by Centrelink is added. Income tax and the Medicare levy are imputed based on each person's income and other characteristics as reported in the survey. Family tax benefit is estimated on the basis of reductions in pay-as-you-go tax payments, as reported in the survey, or imputed on the basis of each family's income and composition.


Education benefits


Social transfers in kind derived from government expenses relating to the provision of school, tertiary and other education.


Employed persons


Persons aged 15 years and over who, during the week before the interview:

  • worked one hour or more for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind in a job or business, or on a farm (includes employees, employers and own account workers)
  • worked one hour or more, without pay, in a family business or on a family farm, or
  • had a job, business or farm but was not at work because of holidays, sickness or other reason.

Employee


An employed person who, for most of his/her working hours:

  • works for a public or private employer and receives remuneration in wages or salary, or is paid a retainer fee by his/her employer and works on a commission basis, or works for an employer for tips, piece-rates or payment in kind, or
  • operates his or her own incorporated enterprise with or without hiring employees.

Employer


A person who operates his or her own unincorporated economic enterprise or engages independently in a profession or trade, and hires one or more employees.


Equivalised household income


Household income has been adjusted using an equivalence scale. For a lone person household it is equal to household income. For a household comprising more than one person, it is an indicator of the household income that would need to be received by a lone person household to enjoy the same level of economic wellbeing as the household in question. For further information see Appendix 2.


Expenditure


The cost of goods and services acquired during the reference period for private use, whether or not the goods were paid for or consumed. Expenditure is net of refunds. For example, payments for health services are net of any refunds received or expected to be received. Expenditure is classified according to the Household Expenditure Classification which contains over 600 detailed items.


Family


Two or more people, one of whom is at least 15 years of age, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or de facto), adoption, step or fostering and who usually live in the same household. A separate family is formed for each married couple, or for each set of parent-child relationships where only one parent is present.


Family composition of household


Classifies households into three broad groupings based on the number of families present (one family, multiple family and non-family). One family households are further disaggregated according to the type of family (such as couple family or one parent family) and according to whether or not dependent children are present. Non-family households are disaggregated into lone person households and group households.


Family tax benefit


Includes family tax benefit (both part A and part B) payments received fortnightly, as well as additional cash allowances such as rent assistance. It also includes one-off payments to families paid in 2003-04. Family tax benefit is a component of social assistance benefits in cash although for practical reasons, family tax benefit paid through the tax system or as a lump sum is excluded. For further information see Social assistance benefits in cash.


Final income


Disposable income plus social transfers in kind minus taxes on production.


Full-time student


A person 15 years or over who is classified as a full-time student by the institution they attend, or considers himself/herself to be a full-time student. Full-time study does not preclude employment.


Goods and services tax (GST)


Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a broad-based tax of 10% on most goods, services and other items sold or consumed in Australia.


Government pensions and allowances


see Social assistance benefits in cash.


Gross income


Regular cash receipts before income tax or the Medicare levy are deducted. It consists of private income plus social assistance benefits in cash.


Group household


A household consisting of two or more unrelated people where all people are aged 15 years and over. There are no reported couple relationships, parent-child relationships or other blood relationships in these households.


Health benefits


Health benefits are social transfers in kind derived from government expenses relating to acute care institutions, community health services, pharmaceuticals and other health benefits.


Household


A lone person living alone or a group of related or unrelated people who usually live in the same dwelling.


Household Expenditure Classification (HEC)


The expenditure classification used in the Household Expenditure Survey. In the 2003-04 survey it consists of over 600 items at the most detailed level. At the broadest level it consists of 17 broad expenditure groups. A copy of the classification is included in Household Expenditure Survey and Survey of Income and Housing, Australia: User Guide, 2003-04 (cat. no. 6503.0).


Housing benefits


Social transfers in kind from the provision of government housing at subsidised rental rates.


Income


Regular and recurring receipts. Excludes lump-sum receipts, windfall gains and withdrawals from savings. Own unincorporated business income and other private income can be negative. Income data used in this study is as collected in the 2003-04 Household Expenditure Survey. Most information about income is obtained on a current basis, though some relates to the previous financial year.


Incorporated business


An incorporated business is a company that has a registered business name with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and a legal status which is separate to that of the individual owners of the business.


Landlord type


For renters, the type of entity to whom rent is paid or with whom the tenure contract or arrangement is made. Landlords belong to one of the following categories:

  • state/territory housing authority - where the household pays rent to a state or territory housing authority or trust
  • private landlord - where the household pays rent to a real estate agent or to another person not in the same household
  • other - where the household pays rent to the owner/manager of caravan park, an employer (including a government authority), a housing cooperative, a community or church group, or any other body not included elsewhere.

Liability


A liability is an obligation which requires one unit (the debtor) to make a payment or a series of payments to the other unit (the creditor) in certain circumstances specified in a contract between them.


Lone person household


A household consisting of a person living alone.


Mean income


Mean (or average) income is the total income of a group of units divided by the number of units in the group. For more detail about household weighted and person weighted means, see Appendix 1.


Medicare levy


Medicare is Australia’s universal health care system. The Medicare levy is a specific tax, based on individual income, intended to assist in the funding of this system. For more information refer to <http://www.medicareaustralia.gov.au>.


Multiple family household


A household containing two or more families. Unrelated individuals may also be present.


Negative income


Income may be negative when a loss accrues to a household. Losses can accrue to owners of unincorporated enterprises or rental properties. Losses occur when operating expenses and depreciation are greater than gross receipts.


Net benefits


Total benefits minus total taxes.


Net worth


Net worth represents the difference between the value of household assets (both financial and non-financial) and the value of household liabilities. Net worth is positive when the value of a household's assets exceeds the value of its liabilities. Net worth is negative when household liabilities exceed household assets.


Non-dependent children


All people aged 15 years and over who:

  • do not have a spouse or offspring of their own in the household
  • have a parent in the household, and
  • are not full-time students aged 15-24 years.

Non-family household


Consists of unrelated people only. A non-family household can be either a person living alone or a group household.


One family household


A household containing only one family. Unrelated individuals may also be present.


One parent family households with dependent children


A one family household comprising a lone parent with at least one dependent child. The household may also include non-dependent children, other relatives and unrelated individuals.


Other education benefits


Social transfers in kind derived from government expenses relating to special education (e.g. education for children who have physical disabilities) and other education benefits which could not be assigned to school or tertiary education. Other education benefits is a component of education benefits.


Other government pensions and allowances


Includes all other income support payments from the Australian government that are not included under retirement pension, family support payments, and unemployment and student allowances. These are a component of social assistance benefits in cash.


Other health benefits


Includes social transfers in kind derived from government expenses relating to public health services such as health promotion campaigns, occupational health and safety programs, food standards regulation, immunisation programs, breast cancer screening and screening for childhood diseases, as well as expenditure on health research. Other health benefits is a component of health benefits.


Other landlord type


Where the household pays rent to the owner/manager of a caravan park, an employer (including a government authority), a housing cooperative, a community or church group, or any other body not included elsewhere.


Other one family household


A household comprising:

  • one couple with their non-dependent children only
  • one couple, with or without non-dependent children, plus other relatives
  • one couple, with or without non-dependent children or other relatives, plus unrelated individuals
  • a lone parent with his/her non-dependent children, with or without other relatives and unrelated individuals or
  • two or more related individuals where the relationship is not a couple relationship or a parent-child relationship (e.g. two brothers).

Other private income


Private income other than employee income, government pensions and allowance and income from own business. It includes superannuation, workers' compensation, child support and any other allowances regularly received as well as interest and property rent.


Other tenure type


A household which is not an owner, with or without a mortgage, or a renter. Includes rent free.


Own account worker


A person who operates his or her own unincorporated economic enterprise or engages independently in a profession or trade and hires no employees.


Own unincorporated business income


The profit/loss that accrues to persons as owners of, or partners in, unincorporated enterprises. Profit/loss consists of the value of gross output of the enterprise after the deduction of operating expenses (including depreciation). Losses occur when operating expenses are greater than gross receipts and are treated as negative income.


Owner (of dwelling)


A household in which at least one member owns the dwelling in which it usually resides. Owners are divided into two classifications - owners without a mortgage and owners with a mortgage. If there is any outstanding mortgage or loan secured against the dwelling the household is an owner with a mortgage. If there is no mortgage or loan secured against the dwelling the household is an owner without a mortgage.


Parenting payment


Includes parenting payment for both sole and partnered parents. Parenting payment is a component of social assistance benefits in cash.


Percentile


When all households or people in the population are ranked from the lowest to the highest on the basis of some characteristic such as their household income or net worth, they can then be divided into equal sized groups. Division into 100 groups gives percentiles. The highest value of the characteristic in the tenth percentile is denoted P10. The top of the 50th percentile is denoted P50. P20, P80 and P90 denote the highest values in the 20th, 80th and 90th percentiles. Ratios of values at the top of selected percentiles, such as P90/P10, are often called percentile ratios. See also Percentile ratios.


Percentile ratios


Percentile ratios summarise the relative distance between two points in a distribution. To illustrate the full spread of the net worth distribution, the percentile ratio needs to refer to points near the extremes of the distribution, for example, the P90/P10 ratio. The P80/P20 ratio better illustrates the magnitude of the range within which the net worth of the majority of households falls. The P80/P50 and P20/P50 ratios focus on comparing the ends of the income distribution with the midpoint.


Pharmaceutical benefits


Includes social transfers in kind derived from government expenses relating to pharmaceuticals provided outside of hospitals, aids and appliances used for health purposes and supplied in an ambulatory setting, glasses, hearing aids, wheel chairs, etc. Pharmaceuticals is a component of health benefits.


Principal source of income


That source from which the most positive income is received. If total income is nil or negative the principal source is undefined. As there are several possible sources, the principal source may account for less than 50% of total income.


Private income


All regular cash payments received excluding social assistance benefits in cash. The private income of a household represents the total private income of all members of the household. Private income may be in the form of employee income, income from own business, interest on financial institution accounts, investments and property rent; superannuation and annuities; child support; workers' compensation; accident compensation; private and government scholarships or any other regular income. The value of private income is obtained from responses to income questions of the 2003-04 Household Expenditure Survey. Some respondents recorded negative incomes from business and/or property rent; these components of private income were retained as recorded. Private income also includes pensions and allowances from overseas governments.


Private landlord


See Landlord type.


Private dwelling


Houses, flats, home units, caravans, garages, tents and other structures that are used as places of residence. These are distinct from special dwellings which include hotels, boarding houses and institutions.


Quintiles


Groupings that result from ranking all households or people in the population in ascending order according to some characteristic such as their household income and then dividing the population into five equal groups, each comprising 20% of the estimated population. For further information see Appendix 1.


Reference person


The reference person for each household is chosen by applying, to all household members aged 15 years and over, the selection criteria below, in the order listed, until a single appropriate reference person is identified:

  • one of the partners in a registered or de facto marriage, with dependent children
  • one of the partners in a registered or de facto marriage, without dependent children
  • a lone parent with dependent children
  • the person with the highest income
  • the eldest person.

For example, in a household containing a lone parent with a non-dependent child, the one with the higher income will become the reference person. However, if both individuals have the same income, the elder will become the reference person.


Relative standard error (RSE)


The standard error expressed as a percentage of the estimate for which it was calculated. It is a measure which is independent of both the size of the sample, and the unit of measurement and as a result, can be used to compare the reliability of different estimates. The smaller an estimate's RSE, the more likely it is that the estimate is a good proxy for that which would have been obtained if the whole population had been surveyed. For further information see Appendix 3.


Renter


A householder which pays rent to reside in the dwelling. See further classification by Landlord type.


School education benefits


Social transfers in kind derived from government expenses relating to administration, inspection, support and operation of educational programs for preschool, primary and secondary school students. Government expenditure on the administration, inspection, support and operation of transportation services to students were included. Government expenditure on school medical and dental programs (which are included in other health benefits) and monetary transfers to households were excluded. School education is a component of education benefits.


Selected dwelling


The private dwelling selected in the sample for the survey.


Social assistance benefits in cash


Regular cash payments received directly from the Australian government without any requirement to provide goods and services in return. Household social assistance benefits in cash are the sum of all household members' cash payments. The components of social assistance benefits in cash to residents which are separately identified in the study are: age pension, disability support pension, Veterans' Affairs pensions, family tax benefit, parenting payment, unemployment and student allowances and other government pensions and allowances. The one-off payments to families and carers paid in 2003-04 are included. Family tax benefit is also regarded as income, although for practical reasons family tax benefit paid through tax system or lump sum by Centrelink is only included under disposable income, and not gross income. The only difference between 'government pensions and allowances' and 'social assistance benefits in cash' is that overseas pensions are included in government pensions and allowances and private income and excluded from social assistance benefits in cash.


Social security and welfare benefits


Includes social transfers in kind derived from government expenses relating to the provision of goods and services to specific population groups with special needs. It includes expenditure on child care services (including child care benefit subsidies), services for the aged, services for people with a disability, etc. The category excludes expenditure on monetary transfers to Australian residents (see Social assistance benefits in cash).


Social transfers in kind


Non-cash benefits and services provided by the government to households for education, health, housing and social security and welfare. The cost of administering the provision of social assistance benefits in cash is included.


Standard error


A measure of the likely difference between estimates obtained in a sample survey and estimates which would have been obtained if the whole population had been surveyed. The magnitude of the standard error associated with any survey is a function of sample design, sample size and population variability. For further information see Appendix 3.


State/territory housing authority


See Landlord type.


Taxes on income


Taxes on income is the sum of personal income tax plus the Medicare levy and Medicare levy surcharge for all members of the household. In this study, taxes on income were imputed according to the 2003-04 tax rules which were applied to the gross income of family members according to their characteristics as reported in the 2003-04 Household Expenditure Survey.


Taxes on production


Taxes on production and imports consist of taxes payable on goods and services when they are produced, delivered, sold, transferred or otherwise disposed of by their producers plus taxes and duties on imports that become payable when goods enter the economic territory by crossing the frontier or when services are delivered to resident units by non-resident units; they also include other taxes on production, which consist mainly of taxes on the ownership or use of land, buildings or other assets used in production or on the labour employed, or compensation of employees paid.


Taxes on production on alcohol beverages


Taxes on production on alcohol are identified separately in some tables; these taxes cover excises on beer and drinkable spirits, GST, wine equivalisation tax and all other taxes that are passed on from the process of production, delivery, transfer or sale of the alcohol.


Taxes on production on clothing and footwear


Taxes on production on clothing and footwear are identified separately in some tables; these taxes cover GST and all other taxes that are passed on from the process of production, delivery, transfer or sale of the clothing and footwear products.


Taxes on production on food and non-alcoholic beverages


Taxes on production on food and non-alcoholic beverages are identified separately in some tables; these taxes cover GST and all other taxes that are passed on from the process of production, delivery, transfer or sale of these items. Food and non-alcoholic beverages exclude meals out and fast food items.


Taxes on production on meals out and fast food


Taxes on production on meals out and fast food are identified separately in some tables; these taxes cover GST and all other taxes that are passed on from the process of production, delivery, transfer or sale of the meals out and fast food products.


Taxes on production on motor vehicle fuels


Taxes on production on motor vehicle fuel are identified separately in some tables. These taxes cover excises on crude oil and petroleum products, petroleum product franchise taxes, excises on diesel fuel, LPG and other gas fuels, excises on petrol used during holidays in Australia, GST and all other taxes that are passed on from the process of production, delivery, transfer or sale of the product.


Taxes on production on motor vehicle purchase


Taxes on production on motor vehicle purchase are identified separately in some tables; these taxes cover GST and all other taxes that are passed on from the process of production, delivery, transfer or sale of motor vehicles.


Taxes on production on other goods and services


All taxes on production on goods and services allocated to households, other than those separately identified in respect of alcoholic beverages, clothing and footwear, food and non-alcoholic beverages, meals out and fast food, motor vehicle purchase, ownership of dwellings, motor vehicle fuels and tobacco products.


Taxes on production on ownership of dwellings


Taxes on production which can be attributed to the ownership of dwellings are identified separately in some tables. The amounts given represent tax paid in the form of rates.


Taxes on production on tobacco products


Taxes on production on tobacco are identified separately in some tables. These taxes cover excises on tobacco products, GST and all other taxes that are passed on from the process of production, delivery, transfer or sale of tobacco.


Tenure type


The nature of a household's legal right to occupy the dwelling in which the household members usually reside. Tenure is determined according to whether the household owns the dwelling outright, owns the dwelling but has a mortgage or loan secured against it, is paying rent to live in the dwelling or has some other arrangement to occupy the dwelling.


Tertiary education benefits


Social transfers in kind derived from government expenses relating to the administration, inspection, operation and support of education programs at higher education institutions and colleges of technical and further education. Tertiary education is a component of education benefits.


Total benefits


The total of social assistance benefits in cash and social transfers in kind allocated.


Total taxes


The total of taxes on income and taxes on production allocated.


Unemployed persons


Persons aged 15 years and over who were not employed during the week before the interview, had actively looked for full-time or part-time work at any time in the four weeks before the interview and

  • were available for work in the week before the interview, or
  • were waiting to start a new job within four weeks from the interview and would have started in the week before the interview if the job had been available then.

Unemployment and student allowances


Includes newstart allowance, youth allowance, sickness allowance, mature age allowance, Austudy/Abstudy and additional cash allowances such as rent assistance. Unemployment and student allowances are a component of social assistance benefits in cash.


Unincorporated business


A business in which the owner(s) and the business are the same legal entity, so that, for example, the owner(s) are personally liable for any business debts that are incurred.


Veterans' Affairs pensions


Pensions paid by the Department of Veterans' Affairs. Includes service, disability and war widow pension as well as additional allowances such as rent assistance. Veterans' Affairs pensions are a component of social assistance benefits in cash.


Wages and salaries


The gross cash income received as a return to labour from an employer or from a person's own incorporated business.