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Government Finance Statistics, Annual

Statistics about finances of the general government and public corporation sectors for the various levels of government in Australia

Reference period
2019-20 financial year

Key statistics

In the year 2019-20:

  • General government net operating balance fell $123.6b from $16.6b in 2018-19 to -$107.0b
  • General government borrowing was $150.5b
  • Total public sector borrowing was $174.7b
  • All Australia net public sector debt (L2) reached 32.1% as a percentage of GDP

Main Features

Unless indicated, all figures presented in this publication are current prices, original series.

For the latest information on COVID-19 and economic support impacts, please visit the Government Finance Statistics quarterly publication.

Two articles are included in this publication:

Table 1. Annual key figures, all levels of government by sector
 General government sectorNon-financial public sectorTotal public sector (a)
2019-202019-202019-20
$m$m$m
Operating results
 GFS revenue685 187747 288758 503
 GFS expenses792 174863 068880 371
 GFS net operating balance- 106 987- 115 780- 121 868
 Net acqusition of non-financial assets43 56052 78352 823
 GFS net lending(+)/borrowing(-)- 150 547- 168 563- 174 691
Cash operating results
 GFS cash surplus(+)/deficit(-)- 135 024- 149 650- 150 004
Balance sheet results
 Total assets2 583 7762 747 3673 170 330
 Total liabilities1 897 5022 061 0932 484 056
 GFS net worth686 274686 274686 274

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
a. The total public sector comprises general government, public non-financial corporations and public financial corporations. The sum of individual levels of government or sectors may not agree with the total public sector figures due to transfers between level of government.

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  1. The L2 measure of public sector net debt comprises debt securities, loans, Special Drawing Rights and currency and deposits. It is the measure most comparable to government reporting of net debt under the Uniform Presentation Framework (UPF).

  2. Using the GDP annual series as published in Table 36 in the December quarter 2020 issue in Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 impacted Government Finance Statistics in the 2019-20 year across all levels of government, both as a result of changes in policy and through changes in economic activity. The year saw the fastest and largest fiscal response to an economic event in modern Australian history, with several hundred policy interventions announced across all levels of government. For additional information:

Accounting standard changes

The following Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) standard changes have been introduced in government financial reporting for periods from 1 July 2019 onwards, leading to increased divergence in certain circumstances between economic statistics publications and government financial reporting:

  • Leases (AASB 16): The standard removes the distinction between operating and finance leases on the lessee side of financial reporting. The conceptual distinction between operating and finance leases still remains in economic statistics. GFS outputs are consistent with the historical treatment.
  • Revenue recognition (AASB 15 & 1058): The standard requires revenue to be recognised when performance obligations are met in certain circumstances. In GFS the change primarily affects grant revenue received by state and territory governments from the Commonwealth. Recognition of grant revenue in GFS remains consistent with the historical treatment which is based on when jurisdictions have access to the funding as reported by the Commonwealth.
  • Service Concession Arrangements (AASB 1059): The standard impacts ownership of non-financial assets. It applies a control concept to determine non-financial asset ownership. Non-financial asset ownership in GFS is determined based off a risk-reward concept consistent with the historical treatment which has been maintained in economic statistics.

Transactions related to visa application changes

In December 2015, the Commonwealth Government released the 2015-16 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) which included a reclassification of visa application charges (VAC). These charges are now treated as taxation revenue rather than sales of goods and services. This reclassification has been applied to GFS, with no impact on total GFS revenue or the GFS net operating balance. The National Accounts statistics maintains coherence with previously published data and classify this transaction as sales of goods and services. This treatment will remain in place until the upcoming 2020-21 release of the National Accounts. These charges will then be classified as taxation revenue rather than sales of goods and services.

Accrual of JobKeeper subsidy expenses

GFS and National Accounts statistics accrue subsidy expenses related to JobKeeper on a daily basis.

Timing recognition of the Boosting Cash Flows for Employers subsidy expense

GFS and National Accounts statistics recognises the subsidy expense when the business receives payments after submitting activity statements and having met all requirements. This timing difference in recording the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers support program causes a divergence between the Commonwealth Government Final Budget Outcomes and ABS published Statistics.

 

Classification of Public Private Partnerships arrangements

The ABS continues to review and determine which institutional sector has economic ownership of assets being acquired (constructed) and operated to ensure consistent classification and more stable macroeconomic statistics. 

Assets linked to Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects are now allocated to one sector only for the entire life of the PPP contract (i.e. through both the acquisition (construction) and operations phases). This means that risks and rewards during both phases are considered at the same time when determining ownership.

The application of these principles to all public capital projects has resulted in reconciliation differences to the financial statements of some states and territories, as the ABS has determined a different economic owner of particular assets during the construction phase.

Key tables

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Table 2. Operating results by level of government and sector
 General government sectorNon-financial public sectorTotal public sector (a)
2019-202019-202019-20
$m$m$m
All levels of Government
 GFS Revenue685 187747 288758 503
 GFS Expenses792 174863 068880 371
 GFS Net operating balance-106 987-115 780-121 868
 Net acquisitions of non-financial assets43 56052 78352 823
 GFS Net lending(+)/borrowing(-)-150 547-168 563-174 691
Commonwealth Government
 GFS Revenue487 722502 125503 014
 GFS Expenses576 838597 465598 752
 GFS Net operating balance-89 116-95 340-95 738
 Net acquisitions of non-financial assets6 37210 05410 043
 GFS Net lending(+)/borrowing(-)-95 488-105 394-105 781
State and local government
 GFS Revenue314 833363 628373 997
 GFS Expenses331 717383 077399 138
 GFS Net operating balance-16 884-19 449-25 141
 Net acquisitions of non-financial assets35 18440 70940 759
 GFS Net lending(+)/borrowing(-)-52 067-60 158-65 900
Control not further defined (b)
 GFS Revenue32 77232 77232 772
 GFS Expenses33 13433 13433 134
 GFS Net operating balance- 362- 362- 362
 Net acquisitions of non-financial assets2 0042 0042 004
 GFS Net lending(+)/borrowing(-)-2 366-2 366-2 366

a. The total public sector comprises general government, public non-financial corporations and public financial corporations. The sum of individual levels of government or sectors may not agree with the total public sector figures due to transfers between levels of government.
b. The control not further defined (n.f.d.) sector contains units where jurisdiction is shared between two or more governments, or classification of a unit to a jurisdiction is otherwise unclear. The main types of units currently falling into this category are the public universities.

Table 3. Cash operating results by level of government and sector
 General government sectorNon-financial public sectorTotal public sector (a)
2019-202019-202019-20
$m$m$m
GFS Cash surplus(+)/deficit(-)
 Commonwealth Government-80 292-87 743-88 131
 State and Local Government
  New South Wales-17 688-22 317-21 980
  Victoria-12 534-13 446-11 922
  Queensland-7 288-8 475-10 340
  South Australia-2 924-3 137-3 036
  Western Australia 724 945 907
  Tasmania- 406- 644- 679
  Northern Territory- 885- 874- 865
  Australian Capital Territory- 632- 864- 864
  Total state and local government-41 728-48 892-48 857
 Control not further defined (b)-3 681-3 681-3 681
 All levels of government-135 024-149 650-150 004

a. The total public sector comprises general government, public non-financial corporations and public financial corporations. The sum of individual levels of government or sectors may not agree with the total public sector figures due to transfers between levels of government.
b. The control not further defined (n.f.d.) sector contains units where jurisdiction is shared between two or more governments, or classification of a unit to a jurisdiction is otherwise unclear. The main types of units currently falling into this category are the public universities.

Table 4. Balance sheet results by level of government and sector as at 30 June 2020
 General government sectorNon-financial public sectorTotal public sector (a)
2019-202019-202019-20
$m$m$m
All levels of government
 Total assets2 583 7762 747 3673 170 330
 Total liabilities1 897 5022 061 0932 484 056
 GFS Net worth 686 274 686 274 686 274
Commonwealth government
 Total assets 688 789 710 848 964 054
 Total liabilities1 356 5751 378 6351 631 841
 GFS Net worth- 667 787- 667 787- 667 787
State and local government
 Total assets1 820 5741 962 8642 134 868
 Total liabilities 527 798 670 088 842 092
 GFS Net worth1 292 7761 292 7761 292 776
Control not further defined (b)
 Total assets 86 033 86 033 86 033
 Total liabilities 24 748 24 748 24 748
 GFS Net worth 61 285 61 285 61 285

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
a. The total public sector comprises general government, public non-financial corporations and public financial corporations. The sum of individual levels of government or sectors may not agree with the total public sector figures due to transfers between level of government.
b. The control not further defined (n.f.d.) sector contains units where jurisdiction is shared between two or more governments, or classification of a unit to a jurisdiction is otherwise unclear. The main types of units currently falling into this category are the public universities.

Time series, 2014-15 to 2019-20

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Table 5. Total public sector, all levels of government (a)
 2014-152015-162016-172017-182018-192019-20
$m$m$m$m$m$m
Operating results
 GFS revenue617 795639 416671 565719 933765 036758 503
 GFS expenses650 197670 519696 164722 460761 933880 371
 GFS net operating balance- 32 402- 31 103- 24 599- 2 5273 103- 121 868
 Net acquisitions of
non-financial assets
27 60331 95535 83743 24951 31552 823
 GFS net lending(+)/borrowing(-)- 60 005- 63 058- 60 436- 45 776- 48 212- 174 691
Cash flow results
 GFS cash surplus(+)/deficit(-)- 46 605- 53 975- 48 529- 30 884- 26 651- 150 004
Balance sheet results
 Total assets2 330 6642 476 3272 642 3742 750 0372 884 6453 170 330
 Total liabilities1 503 8681 712 0631 758 0521 828 2512 084 3292 484 056
 GFS net worth826 797764 265884 321921 786800 316686 274

a. The total public sector comprises general government, public non-financial corporations and public financial corporations. The sum of individual levels of government or sectors may not agree with the total public sector figures due to transfers between levels of government.

Table 6. General government sector, all levels of government
 2014-152015-162016-172017-182018-192019-20
$m$m$m$m$m$m
Operating results
 GFS revenue556 090577 704609 625657 219696 299685 187
 GFS expenses583 401600 206623 176647 054679 669792 174
 GFS net operating balance- 27 311- 22 502- 13 55110 16516 630- 106 987
 Net acquisitions of
non-financial assets
20 09421 46224 78433 76340 72143 560
 GFS net lending(+)/borrowing(-)- 47 405- 43 965- 38 335- 23 598- 24 090- 150 547
Cash flow results
 GFS cash surplus(+)/deficit(-)- 34 465- 37 316- 32 643- 17 543- 10 868- 135 024
Balance sheet results
 Total assets1 948 7302 066 0692 199 4272 320 9822 415 4292 583 776
 Total liabilities1 121 9331 301 8041 315 1051 399 2681 615 1121 897 502
 GFS Net worth826 797764 266884 322921 715800 316686 274
Table 7. General government sector, Commonwealth government
 2014-152015-162016-172017-182018-192019-20
$m$m$m$m$m$m
Operating results
 GFS revenue382 186395 636420 093459 576492 477487 722
 GFS expenses419 020430 889450 102463 877488 225576 838
 GFS net operating balance- 36 834- 35 253- 30 009- 4 3014 252- 89 116
 Net acquisitions of
non-financial assets
4 7742 9536064 1815 2746 372
 GFS net lending(+)/borrowing(-)- 41 608- 38 206- 30 615- 8 482- 1 021- 95 488
Cash flow results
 GFS cash surplus(+)/deficit(-)- 33 484- 36 315- 30 965- 5 7905 298- 80 292
Balance sheet results
 Total assets440 812477 564524 644561 875602 069688 789
 Total liabilities742 646893 651923 489989 1531 156 3701 356 575
 GFS Net worth- 301 834- 416 087- 398 845- 427 278- 554 301- 667 787
Table 8. General government sector, state government
 2014-152015-162016-172017-182018-192019-20
$m$m$m$m$m$m
Operating results
 GFS Net operating balance
  New South Wales 3 619 4 591 5 728 5 272 1 457- 7 946
  Victoria 1 327 2 935 2 141 1 937 1 484- 8 384
  Queensland 532 969 3 584 1 990 735- 6 234
  South Australia- 200 297 433- 156 832- 1 987
  Western Australia- 428- 2 109- 2 474- 716 1 431 1 037
  Tasmania- 93 107 806 71 52- 551
  Northern Territory 483 323- 63- 375- 431- 1 024
  Australian Capital Territory- 256- 273- 133- 66- 308- 954
  Total all states 4 982 6 826 10 015 7 956 5 223- 26 035
 GFS Net lending(+)/borrowing(-)
  New South Wales 612 71- 503- 3 035- 8 458- 18 616
  Victoria- 384 95- 1 985- 6 163- 6 052- 17 259
  Queensland- 659- 478 1 332- 108- 2 882- 10 170
  South Australia- 122 94- 2 324- 889 195- 3 108
  Western Australia- 1 914- 3 442- 3 941- 1 981 281- 168
  Tasmania- 55 45 680- 58- 232- 722
  Northern Territory- 121- 22- 469- 703- 868- 1 238
  Australian Capital Territory- 912- 627- 206- 222- 1 417- 1 067
  Total all states- 3 556- 4 277- 7 422- 13 161- 19 463- 52 340
Cash flow results
 GFS Cash surplus(+)/deficit(-)
  New South Wales 2 570 3 229 901- 1 671- 7 365- 18 438
  Victoria- 211 1 208- 1 020- 5 254- 5 014- 12 654
  Queensland- 110 844 2 187 546 305- 6 585
  South Australia 102 66 337- 757- 346- 2 916
  Western Australia- 1 494- 3 664- 3 724- 1 958- 426 726
  Tasmania 366 257 829 147- 96- 407
  Northern Territory 455- 42- 430- 633- 867- 853
  Australian Capital Territory- 596- 662 233 120- 223- 632
  Total all states 1 083 1 235- 685- 9 449- 14 010- 41 856
Balance sheet results
 GFS Net worth
  New South Wales 178 267 179 718 226 765 256 249 251 708 233 242
  Victoria 139 332 151 610 170 736 187 000 184 448 180 548
  Queensland 169 523 193 315 196 262 196 292 199 691 194 557
  South Australia 39 952 37 611 42 450 43 025 41 586 46 281
  Western Australia 121 779 115 364 111 021 103 153 100 570 103 692
  Tasmania 8 590 7 168 9 621 10 533 9 381 7 742
  Northern Territory 9 810 9 690 11 055 10 641 9 483 11 140
  Australian Capital Territory 14 833 12 857 16 134 15 883 14 638 14 118
  Total all states 682 086 707 332 784 044 822 776 811 506 791 320

General government expenses by purpose

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Table 9. Expenses by purpose, general government sector, Commonwealth and state government, 2019-20 (a)
 CwthNSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAll
levels
(b)
$m$m$m$m$m$m$m$m$m$m
General public services

 

104 70410 0864 8685 3171 4121 4745424231 05472 094
Defence
 39 442--------39 442
Public order and safety

 

6 7418 8069 0385 6342 0663 82668286151338 441
Economic affairs
 71 4933 1442 9852 2279561 55824453813384 643
Environmental protection
 6 1831 8721 02993943139514811111917 004
Housing and community amenities
 2 8681 0541 9499822911 2231752901510 103
Health
 90 14124 45821 59619 2576 6259 5572 1611 6851 863147 807
Recreation, culture and religion
 3 7521 0971 06791634677015416920514 902
Education
 43 94823 19816 85115 4355 4588 1471 6561 2301 507114 146
Social protection
 200 0448 4946 3144 9942 1252 672624958577217 534
Transport
 7 5228 9148 9026 5281 2032 60431531847536 060
Total expenses
 576 83891 12374 60162 23020 91332 2256 7006 5846 461792 174

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
a. The expenses by purpose data in this table are consistent with the underlying transactions data reported in Government Finance Statistics, Australia for each jurisdiction. These data do not necessarily align with the data published by each Treasury. For further information on other differences please see the explanatory notes.
b. All levels of government includes the Commonwealth, state, control not further defined (n.f.d.) and local government sectors. The control not further defined (n.f.d.) sector contains units where jurisdiction is shared between two or more governments, or classification of a unit to a jurisdiction is otherwise unclear. The main types of units currently falling into this category are the public universities.

Table 10. Expense by purpose, general government sector, local government, 2019-20
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTTotal
 $m$m$m$m$m$m$m$m
General
public
services
3 1021 7062 9451478961911949 180
Public order
and safety
445231196581527251 112
Economic affairs70546042416219137232 003
Environmental
protection
2 5351 4841 328446292106226 213
Housing and
community
amenities
1 2446581 48421940271594 137
Health89186606172124483
Recreation,
culture
and religion
1 8931 8471 276594929138676 745
Education861449-5-3247
Social
protection
4239356013419419401 805
Transport2 0581 7212 7495331 111205508 427
Total expenses12 5809 37310 5302 3544 24478548740 354

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)

Statement of stocks and flows

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Table 11. Statement of stocks and flows, general government sector, Commonwealth government
 Opening stocks as at 1 July 2019TransactionsOther economic flows (a)Closing stocks as at 30 June 2020
$m$m$m$m
Assets
 Non-financial assets
  Buildings and structures26 578484- 40426 658
  Machinery and equipment14 965195- 13715 023
  Other fixed produced assets71 0204 22573575 980
  Other produced assets20 9671 246622 219
  Land10 089- 5- 6729 412
  Other non-produced assets4 340227- 914 476
  Total non-financial assets147 9596 372- 563153 768
 Financial assets
  Currency and deposits8 521932-9 453
  Advances75 3949 161- 2 51082 045
  Securities, Investments, loans and placements187 94953 6391 871243 459
  Equity including contributed capital124 4504 471- 1 436127 485
  Other financial assets57 79614 783-72 579
  Total financial assets454 11082 986- 2 075535 021
 Total assets602 06989 358- 2 638688 789
less
Liabilities
  Currency and deposits4 626149-4 775
  Advances----
  Securities, Investments, loans and placements645 042151 4038 258804 703
  Provisions for defined benefit superannuation415 227-14 878430 105
  Other liabilities91 47526 922- 1 406116 991
 Total Liabilities1 156 370178 47421 7311 356 575
equals
GFS Net Worth- 554 301- 89 116- 24 370- 667 787
Net financial worth- 702 260--- 821 554

. . not applicable
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
a. Other economic flows are primarily a result of holding gains and losses (revaluations).

Table 12. Statement of stocks and flows, general government sector, total state government
 Opening stocks as at 1 July 2019TransactionsOther economic flows (a)Closing stocks as at 30 June 2020
$m$m$m$m
Assets
 Non-financial assets
  Buildings and structures 467 219 22 280 11 601 501 100
  Machinery and equipment 18 865 1 350 385 20 600
  Other fixed produced assets 6 036 573- 12 6 597
  Other produced assets 16 358 1 657 15 18 030
  Land 247 663 804 13 178 261 645
  Other non-produced assets 1 185- 359 426 1 252
  Total non-financial assets 757 326 26 305 25 593 809 224
 Financial assets
  Currency and deposits 19 569 8 453- 28 022
  Advances 5 673 1 003- 120 6 556
  Securities, Investments, loans and placements 98 037- 8 083 2 472 92 426
  Equity including contributed capital 324 316 3 491- 5 341 322 466
  Other financial assets 33 133 5 665- 38 798
  Total financial assets 480 729 10 529- 2 990 488 268
 Total assets1 238 055 36 834 22 6031 297 492
less
Liabilities
  Currency and deposits 5 209 667- 5 876
  Advances 6 058- 1 707 72 4 423
  Securities, Investments, loans and placements 147 023 50 693 13 899 211 615
  Provisions for defined benefit superannuation 170 357- 2 466 172 823
  Other liabilities 97 902 13 216 317 111 435
 Total Liabilities 426 549 62 869 16 754 506 172
equals
GFS Net Worth 811 506- 26 035 5 849 791 320
Net financial worth 54 180--- 17 904

. . not applicable
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
a. Other economic flows are primarily a result of holding gains and losses (revaluations)

Table 13. Statement of stocks and flows, general government sector, total local government
 Opening stocks as at 1 July 2019TransactionsOther economic flows (a)Closing stocks as at 30 June 2020
$m$m$m$m
Assets
 Non-financial assets
  Buildings and structures 328 237 4 975 8 625 341 837
  Machinery and equipment 5 891 3 044- 2 761 6 174
  Other fixed produced assets 604 238- 173 669
  Other produced assets 2 418- 22 724 3 120
  Land 124 542 614 2 062 127 218
  Other non-produced assets 187- 56 243
  Total non-financial assets 461 879 8 850 8 534 479 263
 Financial assets
  Currency and deposits 12 315- 38- 12 277
  Advances 120- 6 10 124
  Securities, Investments, loans and placements 18 821 1 783- 1 687 18 917
  Equity including contributed capital 8 112- 4- 212 7 896
  Other financial assets 4 648 338- 4 986
  Total financial assets 44 017 2 073- 1 891 44 199
 Total assets 505 896 10 923 6 643 523 462
less
Liabilities
  Currency and deposits 672 12- 684
  Advances 212- 33 84 263
  Securities, Investments, loans and placements 10 904 444- 102 11 246
  Provisions for defined benefit superannuation 2- 15 17
  Other liabilities 9 162 150 484 9 796
 Total Liabilities 20 952 573 481 22 006
equals
GFS Net Worth 484 943 10 350 6 163 501 456
Net financial worth 23 065-- 22 193

. . not applicable
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
a. Other economic flows are primarily a result of holding gains and losses (revaluations)

Public sector debt statistics

A public sector debt statistics analysis article is included in this release:

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Public sector debt is defined as the level of debt liabilities owed by a government to its creditors. Public sector debt statistics can be used as a performance measure on the level of solvency and the liquidity of the public sector. They can also be used to assess the budget sustainability of governments.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a staff discussion note titled What Lies Beneath: The Statistical Definition of Public Sector Debt in 2012. This note introduced the debt matrix - a grid presentation of public sector debt on both a gross and net basis, which enables the recording of debt based on type of debt instrument and level of government subsector.

With the implementation of AGFS15, the ABS has introduced the debt matrix presentation for public sector debt statistics, modified for the Australian situation. The ABS has broadened the financial assets and liabilities reported in the matrix beyond just debt instruments to also include other liabilities, namely equity.

The ABS has recognised that using a matrix-style presentation enables analysts and policy makers to analyse different measures of debt and other liabilities depending on their specific focus or interest. For example, if one is analysing a government’s liquidity, then the focus would be at the L1 to L3 level. However, if one is analysing a government’s longer term budget sustainability, then the focus would be at the L4 to L6 level.

Public sector debt and other liabilities on a gross basis

Gross public sector debt consists of all liabilities that are debt instruments. It is described as the stock position in financial claims that require payment(s) of interest and / or principal by the debtor to the creditor at a date (or dates) in the future. The matrix presented below also includes non-debt liabilities.

Table 14. Matrix of gross public sector debt and other liabilities by sector as at 30 June 2020
 National general governmentTotal state general governmentTotal local general governmentAll Australia general governmentAll Australia non-financial public sectorAll Australia total public sector
$m$m$m$m$m$m
 Debt securities795 02449 259-844 283858 4491 189 005
 plus Loans8 190165 92311 509183 634300 48167 452
Equals L1803 214215 18211 5091 027 9171 158 9301 256 457
 
 plus SDRs6 199--6 1996 1996 199
 plus Currency and deposits4 7835 87668411 3439 702256 771
Equals L2814 195221 05812 1931 045 4581 174 8311 519 427
 
 plus Other accounts payable119 498106 8429 796233 421261 016268 382
Equals L3933 693327 90021 9891 278 8791 435 8471 787 810
 
 plus Insurance and superannuation438 936177 41617616 369620 470687 569
Equals L4 (b)1 372 628505 31622 0061 895 2492 056 3162 475 379
 
 plus Financial derivatives1 398855-2 2524 7768 671
Equals L5 (c)1 374 026506 17122 0061 897 5012 061 0922 484 050
 
 plus Equities-1----
Equals L6 (d)1 374 026506 17222 0061 897 5022 061 0932 484 056

a. National includes both the Commonwealth and Control not further defined levels of government.
b. L4 is comparable to the IMF GFSM 2014 concept of headline gross public sector debt.
c. L5 is comparable to the Australian AGFS15 concept of headline gross public sector debt.
d. L6 includes other liabilities and is not included in headline measures of gross public sector debt.

Headline gross public sector debt (L5 under AGFS15) for the All Australia general government sector was driven by debt securities ($795,024m) and insurance and superannuation liabilities ($438,936m) of the national sector, as well as insurance and superannuation liabilities ($177,416m) and loans ($165,923m) of the state sector.

Public sector debt and other liabilities on a net basis

Net public sector debt is described as gross debt minus the stock position in financial assets corresponding to debt instruments. The matrix presented below also includes non-debt liabilities and their corresponding financial assets.

Table 15. Matrix of net public sector debt and other liabilities by sector as at 30 June 2020
 National general governmentTotal State general governmentTotal Local general governmentAll Australia general governmentAll Australia non-financial public sectorAll Australia total public sector
$m$m$m$m$m$m
 Debt securities631 609- 30 300- 13 145588 163601 336605 766
 plus Loans- 73 893153 6985 79585 601224 427- 47 201
Equals L1557 716123 398- 7 350673 764825 763558 565
 
 plus SDRs6 199--6 1996 1996 199
 plus Currency and deposits- 8 332- 22 146- 11 593- 42 070- 53 506183 931
Equals L2 (c)555 583101 253- 18 943637 892778 456748 694
 
 plus Other accounts payable43 64268 0444 810116 496138 846142 906
Equals L3599 225169 297- 14 133754 388917 302891 600
 
 plus Insurance and superannuation438 936177 41617616 369620 316687 416
Equals L4 (d)1 038 161346 713- 14 1161 370 7581 537 6181 579 016
 
 plus Financial derivatives- 16 588- 895- 78- 17 561- 17 575- 17 776
Equals L5 (e)1 021 572345 818- 14 1941 353 1961 520 0431 561 240
 
 plus Equities- 206 444- 327 914- 7 999- 542 357- 192 909- 232 387
Equals L6 (f)815 12817 904- 22 193810 8391 327 1341 328 853

a. National includes both the Commonwealth and Control not further defined (n.f.d.) levels of government. The control n.f.d. sector contains units where jurisdiction is shared between two or more governments, or classification of a unit to a jurisdiction is otherwise unclear. The main types of units currently falling into this category are the public universities.
b. A positive value in this matrix indicates that the relevant stock of liabilities is greater than its corresponding stock of financial assets (an indebted position). A negative value indicates the opposite.
c. L2 is comparable to government reporting of net debt under Australian Accounting Standards.
d. L4 is comparable to the IMF GFSM 2014 concept of headline net public sector debt.
e. L5 is comparable to the Australian AGFS15 concept of headline net public sector debt.
f. L6 includes other liabilities and is not included in headline measures of net public sector debt.

Headline net public sector debt (L5 under AGFS15) for the All Australia general government sector was driven by a net debt position for debt securities ($631,609m) and insurance and superannuation ($438,936m) of the national sector, as well as insurance and superannuation ($177,416m) and loans ($153,698m) of the state sector. This was partially offset by a net asset position for loans of the national sector (-$73,893m) and debt securities of the state sector (-$30,300m).

Table 16. Matrix of net public sector debt and other liabilities as a percentage of GDP as at 30 June 2020 (a) (b)
 National general government (c)Total State general governmentTotal Local general governmentAll Australia general governmentAll Australia non-financial public sectorAll Australia total public sector
%%%%%%
L128.1%6.2%0.4%33.9%41.6%28.1%
L2(d)28.0%5.1%1.0%32.1%39.2%37.7%
L330.2%8.5%0.7%38.0%46.2%44.9%
L4(e)52.3%17.5%0.7%69.0%77.4%79.5%
L5(f)51.4%17.4%0.7%68.1%76.5%78.6%
L6(g)41.0%0.9%1.1%40.8%66.8%66.9%

a. Based on GDP at current prices as published in Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, December Quarter 2020 (formerly cat. no. 5206.0), Table 36 Expenditure on Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Chain Volume Measures and Current Prices: Annual.
b. A positive value in this matrix indicates that the relevant stock of liabilities is greater than its corresponding stock of financial assets (an indebted position). A negative value indicates the opposite.
c. National includes both the Commonwealth and Control not further defined (n.f.d.) levels of government. The control n.f.d. sector contains units where jurisdiction is shared between two or more governments, or classification of a unit to a jurisdiction is otherwise unclear. The main types of units currently falling into this category are the public universities.
d. L2 is comparable to government reporting of net debt under Australian Accounting Standards.
e. L4 is comparable to the IMF GFSM 2014 concept of headline net public sector debt.
f. L5 is comparable to the Australian AGFS15 concept of headline net public sector debt.
g. L6 includes other liabilities and is not included in headline measures of net public sector debt.

Statement of total changes in net worth

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17. Statement of total changes in net worth by level of government, 2019-20
 Commonwealth general governmentTotal state general governmentTotal local general government
$m$m$m
Transactions affecting net worth:
  Revenues487 722274 28649 061
  less Expenses576 838300 32140 354
equals GFS net operating balance- 89 116- 26 0358 707
Change in net worth due to other economic flows (a):
  Non-financial assets- 56325 5938 534
  plus Financial assets- 2 075- 2 990- 1 891
  less Liabilities21 73116 754481
equals Total other economic flows-24 3705 8496 163
Total change in net worth- 113 486- 20 18616 513

a. Other economic flows are primarily a result of holding gains and losses (revaluations).

Analysis

Net operating balance falls

Commonwealth general government net operating balance decreased from $4,252m in 2018-19 to -$89,116m in 2019-20. All of Australia state and local general government net operating balance decreased from $14,808m in 2018-19 to -$16,884m in 2019-20. All of Australia general government net operating balance decreased from $16,630m in 2018-19 to -$106,987m in 2019-20.

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Increases in monetary benefits to households due to COVID-19

Monetary transfers to households increased significantly in 2019-20 due to increased numbers of people on income support programs such as JobSeeker and additional payments for eligible individuals to assist with the impacts of COVID-19.

The Commonwealth government provided a Coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight to individuals on income support programs, as well as providing a $750 Economic Support Payment to eligible households on 12 March 2020.

Commonwealth general government monetary transfers to households rose to record levels, reaching $144,715m in 2019-20 up from $125,324m in 2018-19.

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COVID-19 policy responses to support jobs and businesses

The government’s economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic included the introduction of a number of subsidies on products and production programs. JobKeeper and Boosting Cash Flow for Employers, introduced by the Commonwealth government were the largest and second largest subsidy programs recorded in GFS. State and territory governments also introduced a number of subsidy programs, including Business Support Funds and electricity rebates for small and medium enterprises to help businesses impacted by COVID-19.

All Australia general government subsidies on products and production rose to record levels, reaching $76,476m in 2019-20 up from $23,315m in 2018-19. Commonwealth general government subsidies on products and production increased $50,606m, from $12,968m to $63,574m in 2019-20. JobKeeper payments accounted for $35,142 million and Boosting Cash Flow for Employers contributed $14,607 million. All Australia state and local subsidies on products and production increased $2,556m, from $10,347m to $12,903m in 2019-20. 

For further information on the classification of these policies, please refer to the article included in this publication:

A comprehensive record of the Australian economy’s response to the unfolding events of the June quarter was created as part of the Australian Statistician's Analytical Series:

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Previous catalogue number

 This release previously used catalogue number 5512.0.

Data downloads

Government Finance Statistics, Australia, 2019-20

Data files

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