6537.0 - Government Benefits, Taxes and Household Income, Australia, 2009-10  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/06/2012   
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29 June 2012
Embargoed: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
Households ahead after taxes

In 2009-10, the total government benefits - cash and in-kind - attributable to Australian households were, on average, $91 more than they paid in taxes, according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ABS study looked at government benefits in cash - such as pensions - and government benefits in kind - such as education and health services - and their effect on household income after allowing for taxes on households, such as income tax, GST and indirect taxes.

Overall, the net effect was the redistribution of income from high private income households, i.e. incomes excluding government benefits, to lower private income households. Lower private income households received more benefits and paid less taxes while higher private income households paid more taxes and received fewer benefits.

The 20% of households with the lowest private incomes received almost 60% of the cash benefits and 30% of the benefits in kind, while paying less than 6% of total taxes. The top 20% of private income households received 2% of the cash benefits and 14% of the benefits in kind and paid just under half of total taxes.

The distribution of benefits and taxes varies across states and territories, with ACT households receiving the lowest average benefits while paying the highest total taxes. Western Australia also received lower average benefits and paid higher total taxes relative to other states. In comparison, Tasmania received the highest benefits while paying the lowest taxes.

For more details, see Government Benefits, Taxes and Household Income, Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no. 6537.0).

Media notes
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • The study excluded government taxes and expenditure that do not relate directly to particular types of households or household expenditure, such as government revenue from corporate taxes and spending on defence, public order and safety, transport and communications.