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Miscellaneous current transfers

Australian System of National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods
Reference period
2020-21 financial year

Introduction

13.72    There are a number of miscellaneous current transfers recorded in the ASNA. The following categories of transfers are identified and recorded separately:

  1. Current transfers to non-profit institutions serving households (NPISHs);
  2. Current transfers from the Commonwealth government to State and local government;
  3. Current international cooperation; and
  4. Other current transfers.

Current transfers to non-profit institutions serving households

13.73    Current transfers to non-profit institutions serving households consist of transfers received by NPISHs from other resident or non-resident institutional units in the form of grants, membership fees, subscriptions, voluntary donations, etc. whether made on a regular or occasional basis. They are made principally by households, general government and public non-financial corporations to institutions such as hospitals, private schools, charities and religious organisations.

13.74    Transfers from households to NPISHs include membership fees and subscriptions, plus donations, bequests and legacies made by individuals. Household transfers are in scope of this category, but households and NPISHs belong to the same institutional sector in the ASNA, and consolidation means that transfers paid by households and received by NPISHs net to zero. Membership fees and subscriptions paid to market non-profit institutions serving businesses are not current transfers but payments for services rendered, and are not included in this category.

13.75    Grants from general government are a major source of income for NPISHs. They are treated as current transfers whether general purpose grants or funding provided under an agreement for a specific purpose. Volume-based government funding is currently treated in the national accounts as another type of transfer, rather than as government final consumption expenditure. It refers to funding provided under an agreement or contract specifying the volume of services to be delivered, and paid in proportion to the volume of services delivered.

13.76    Current transfers are also made by public non-financial corporations (e.g. Totalisator Agency Boards) to organisations such as racing clubs and charities. Transfers from corporations to NPISHs that cannot be regarded as payments for advertising or other services would also be included in this item.

Current transfers from the commonwealth government to state and local government

13.77    Current transfers from the Commonwealth government to State and local government include the following:

  • goods and services tax distributions to the States and Territories;
  • financial assistance grants to the States and Territories;
  • grants to fund State and Territory health care services, education services, social security and welfare services, and similar specific grants for current purposes;
  • special revenue assistance grants provided to certain States and Territories;
  • financial assistance grants for local governments which are provided through the State and Northern Territory governments; and
  • grants for current purposes made directly to local government bodies.

13.78    These transfers appear only in the subsectoral income accounts for National, and for State and Local general government. They do not include transfers of funds committed to finance gross fixed capital formation because such transfers are treated as capital transfers.

Current international cooperation

13.79    Current international cooperation relates to transfers by the Commonwealth general government sector to non-residents, and includes current transfers to and payments made on behalf of Papua New Guinea, and current transfers under other bilateral aid projects, including food aid and disaster relief. The item includes contributions to the United Nations and other international organisations made by virtue of Australia's membership of these organisations, and contributions towards the cost of peacekeeping and emergency forces.

Other current transfers

13.80    Other current transfers are compiled using a matrix-based approach – the sector paying the transfer to each counterparty sector. The counterparty flows are then aggregated to form other current transfers received and paid by sector. The quarterly transactions between sectors are benchmarked to the annual using BOP and GFS indicator series and are aggregated up for publication. This approach means that there is no quarterly imbalance. However, the lack of data for the private sectors in this matrix approach results in a data gap for current transfers between private non-financial corporations, financial corporations and households.

13.81    The 2008 SNA states that other current transfers between households are current transfers made, or received, by resident households to or from other resident or non-resident households. The ASNA, however, does not record transfers between resident households. Other current transfers between households include all cash transfers, the value of in kind transfers and regular remittances between members of the same family resident in different parts of the same country or in different countries, usually from a member of a family working in a foreign country for a period of a year or longer. Earnings remitted by seasonal workers to their families are not international transfers as the workers remain resident in their country of origin (that is, they are still members of their original households) when they work abroad for periods of less than a year. Their earnings are recorded as compensation of employees from abroad if they have the status of an employee in the non-resident country while they are working there or as the provision of services otherwise.

13.82    Other current transfers to non-residents include social assistance benefits payable to non-residents by the Commonwealth government, personal transfers and payments made overseas by residents in respect of gifts, donations, legacies, sustenance, etc. Other current transfers from non-residents consist of receipts by households of social security benefits paid by foreign governments through the Commonwealth government to residents, and gifts, donations, legacies, other pensions, etc. When households change their economy of residence, there are changes to the status for the assets they own and liabilities they owe. These changes are recorded as reclassifications through the other changes in volume of assets account.

13.83    Fines are included as other current transfers payable to general government from other institutional sectors in the sectoral income accounts. Fines are civil and criminal penalties imposed on law breakers, other than penalties imposed by taxation authorities (which are regarded as taxes). Other current transfers (other than fines) consists of unclaimed bank and superannuation accounts as well as donations to schools, hospitals and universities from the household sector; settlement of damages and grants for research from the private non-financial sector; and private health insurance levies from financial corporations.

13.84    Other current transfers between domestic institutional sectors include amounts transferred as compensation for injury to persons and damage to property arising from the actions of the donor sector or from natural disasters (excluding payments of non-life insurance claims). Both damages awarded by law courts and out of court settlements would be included here, although no such estimates are currently available.

Sources and methods - Annual

13.85    Annual estimates of other current transfers are compiled by the sector paying the transfer to each counterparty sector. The counterparty flows are then aggregated to form other current transfers received by sector.

13.86    The tables below outline the data sources and methods used in the estimation of annual miscellaneous current transfers in current prices.

Table 13.17 Annual secondary income - Current transfers to NPISHs
ItemComment
Current transfers to NPISH

 

Current transfers to NPISHs are sourced from Government Finance Statistics.

Data are derived from administrative sources such as the Commonwealth Department of Finance, State government financial statements and supplementary departmental documents. Annual financial statements data are obtained from the Department of Finance for national public non-financial corporations and quasi-corporations, and from State Treasuries for other public non-financial corporations.

Table 13.18 Annual secondary income - Current transfers from Commonwealth government to State and Local government
ItemComment
Current transfers from Commonwealth government to State and Local government

 

Current transfers from Commonwealth government to State and Local government are sourced from Government Finance Statistics.

Data are derived from administrative sources such as the Commonwealth Department of Finance, State government financial statements and supplementary departmental documents.

Table 13.19 Annual secondary income - Current international cooperation
ItemComment
Current international cooperation
 Estimates of current international cooperation are sourced from Government Finance Statistics. Data are derived from administrative sources such as the Commonwealth Department of Finance.
Table 13.20 Annual secondary income - Other current transfers
ItemComment
Other current transfers to and from non-residents

 

Other current transfers to and from non-residents are obtained from Balance of Payments data.

The following outlines the data that is used for various components:

  • Commonwealth Budget Papers provide data on Commonwealth government veterans' and social security pensions paid to former Australian residents now living abroad.
  • The Commonwealth Department of Veterans' Affairs provides information about pensions paid to former New Zealand residents now living in Australia (part of other current transfers from non-residents).
  • Other private sector transfers to non-residents are also estimated using data from the Balance of Payments.

More detailed information on the sources and methods used to compile these estimates is included in Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods.

Other current transfers between resident sectors
 Estimates of other current transfers between resident sectors are obtained from Government Finance Statistics. Data are derived from administrative sources such as the Commonwealth Department of Finance, State government financial statements and supplementary departmental documents.

Sources and methods - Quarterly

13.87    The tables below outline the data sources and methods used in the estimation of quarterly miscellaneous current transfers in current prices.

Table 13.21 Quarterly secondary income - Current transfers to NPISH
ItemComment
Current transfers to NPISH
 Quarterly current transfers to NPISHs are sourced from Government Finance Statistics. Data are derived from administrative sources such as the Commonwealth Department of Finance, State government financial statements, and quarterly surveys of local government authorities and public non-financial corporations.
Table 13.22 Quarterly secondary income - Current transfers from Commonwealth government to State and local government
ItemComment
Current transfers from Commonwealth government to State and Local government

 

Quarterly current transfers from the Commonwealth to State and local government are sourced from Government Finance Statistics. Data are derived from administrative sources such as the Commonwealth Department of Finance, State government financial statements, and quarterly surveys of local government authorities and public non-financial corporations.
Table 13.23 Quarterly secondary income - Current international cooperation
ItemComment
Current international cooperation
 Quarterly estimates of current international cooperation are obtained from the Commonwealth Department of Finance.
Table 13.24 Quarterly secondary income - Other current transfers
ItemComment
Other current transfers

 

 

 

 

 

Quarterly other current transfers are calculated using a matrix-based approach whereby other current transfers are calculated on a "from-whom-to-whom" basis, and then aggregated to obtain total other current transfers received and paid for each sector.

Other current transfers to and from non-residents are obtained directly from Balance of Payments statistics.

Quarterly estimates of other current transfers between public and other resident sectors are sourced from Government Finance Statistics. Data are derived from administrative sources such as the Commonwealth Department of Finance, State government financial statements, and quarterly surveys of local government authorities and public non-financial corporations.

These quarterly estimates are used as indicators to produce other current transfers between public and other resident sectors by applying a benchmarking process to the corresponding annual series.

There is no quarterly imbalance as quarterly other current transfers are calculated on a "from-whom-to-whom" basis, and then aggregated to obtain total other current transfers received and paid for each sector.