Commonwealth, state and territory gross and net debt 1998-99 to 2012-13


7 April 2010

Scott Kompo-Harms
Economics Section

Contents

Introduction
Data sources and accounting standards
Net debt measures
Components of net debt measures
Selected financial assets
ABS GFS: Cash and deposits
ABS GFS: Advances paid
ABS GFS: Investments, loans and placements
New South Wales: Cash and cash equivalents
New South Wales: Advances paid
New South Wales: Financial assets at fair value
Selected financial liabilities (gross debt)
ABS GFS: Deposits held
ABS GFS: Advances received
ABS GFS: Borrowings
International comparisons of net debt
Appendix A: IMF World Economic Outlook database metadata
Appendix B: Electronic references—Links to source documents

Introduction

The primary purpose of this paper is to present debt data from state and territory balance sheets beyond what is published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in their publication, Government Finance Statistics (GFS), cat. no. 5512.0, 2007–08. These measures, taken from state and territory budget documents, include:

  • net debt; and
  • asset and liability components that comprise net debt, as defined by each jurisdiction.

This Background Note presents estimates for the general government sector (GGS), public non-financial corporations (PNFCs) and the non-financial public sector (NFPS) which is the sum of the GGS and PNFCs.[1] All data quoted are expressed in millions of Australian dollars, unless otherwise mentioned. Totals are rounded to the nearest million dollars and thus may be subject to rounding errors.

In addition, international comparisons of net debt positions are often made using International Monetary Fund (IMF) data for G7 countries.[2] Such comparisons have been made in the 2009–10 Mid–Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), for example.[3] In this particular context, the data compiled by the IMF actually include all levels of government, whereas the Australian data only refer to Commonwealth balance sheet measures.[4] In order to make a valid international comparison of the Australian situation, it is necessary to at least consider state and territory net debt, rather than just Commonwealth net debt. Unfortunately, this Background Note does not include local government net debt due to a lack of data published by the ABS.

Data sources and accounting standards

All state and territory governments are required to present Uniform Presentation Framework (UPF) tables in their respective Budgets and mid-year reviews, which update the budget forecasts. These UPF tables comprise cash flow statements, balance sheets and operating statements for the GGS, PNFCs and NFPS. All data for 2009–10 to 2012–13 is taken from the UPF tables in each jurisdiction’s mid-year budget reviews (analogous to the Commonwealth’s MYEFO).

In addition, each state and territory government is required to produce an annual document which outlines the cash flow statement, balance sheet and operating statement on an actual basis shortly after the relevant financial year has finished. These are analogous to the Commonwealth’s Final Budget Outcome.[5] All data for 2008–09 are taken from these documents. The data contained in these documents is supposed to be consistent with the ABS Australian System of Government Finance Statistics.[6] However, differences remain between the New South Wales and GFS accounting standards. One significant example is the treatment of bank overdrafts. In New South Wales, these are netted off the ‘cash and cash equivalents’ item (that is, bank overdrafts are subtracted from this item) whereas under the ABS GFS manual, overdrafts add to the ‘borrowings’ item. Both of these treatments have the same effect on the overall net debt measure but lead to slight inconsistencies between jurisdictions in the measurement of gross debt and offsetting assets. No adjustment for this is possible using publicly available data.

For Western Australia, in all of the tables below, the figures (as reported in the relevant WA budget documents) include a balancing item of $88 million to adjust for convergence differences between GFS and AASB 1049 accounting standards.[7] The Australian Capital Territory figures for general government net debt (table 1a) include investments used to fund public sector superannuation.

Net debt measures[8]

Table 1a: General government sector net debt

 

2008–09

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

2012–13

NSW

8 108

12 013

13 871

13 459

13 001

Vic

5 292

9 892

13 292

15 802

15 966

Qld

-19 281

-11 566

-2 964

2 416

5 455

WA

-2 618

 686

3 180

5 006

6 076

SA

 475

2 067

2 860

3 274

3 351

Tas

- 982

- 693

- 421

- 186

- 60

ACT

-2 804

-2 835

-2 605

-2 682

-2 995

NT

 837

1 036

1 185

1 251

1 248

           

Total state and territory

-10 974

10 600

28 399

38 340

42 041

           

Total Commonwealth

-16 148

45 171

90 396

121 814

135 497

Source: Parliamentary Library estimates

Table 1b: Public non-financial corporations sector net debt

 

2008–09

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

2012–13

NSW

20 746

26 756

31 452

35 873

39 759

Vic

5 401

7 468

8 966

14 418

15 313

Qld

29 250

34 934

39 280

42 752

44 477

WA

10 333

12 429

13 755

14 779

15 322

SA

2 398

3 341

3 708

3 554

3 477

Tas

2 180

2 671

2 907

2 949

3 010

ACT

 519

 713

 990

 922

 870

NT

 494

 719

 946

1 078

1 226

           

Total state and territory

71 320

89 031

102 004

116 325

123 453

           

Total Commonwealth

- 476

 222

-

-

-

Source: Parliamentary Library estimates

Table 1c: Non-financial public sector net debt

 

2008–09

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

2012–13

NSW

28 854

38 769

45 323

49 333

52 759

Vic

10 693

17 363

22 260

30 220

31 279

Qld

9 970

23 368

36 316

45 169

49 932

WA

7 715

13 115

16 935

19 785

21 398

SA

2 872

5 407

6 568

6 828

6 829

Tas

1 197

1 978

2 486

2 763

2 950

ACT

-2 286

-2 121

-1 614

-1 760

-2 125

NT

1 330

1 755

2 131

2 329

2 473

           

Total state and territory

60 345

99 633

130 405

154 667

165 494

           

Total Commonwealth

-16 624

45 393

-

-

-

Source: Parliamentary Library estimates

Components of net debt measures

The following sections provide tables of the assets and liabilities components of net debt. New South Wales uses a slightly different set of accounting standards from the Commonwealth and other states and territories and so the components of net debt used by New South Wales are slightly different from the other jurisdictions. A brief discussion of the differences is provided below.

Selected financial assets

The Commonwealth and all state and territories, with the exception of New South Wales present data in their UPF tables that are consistent with the ABS GFS.[9] If positive/(negative), these assets subtract from /(add to) net debt. The categories of financial assets that subtract from net debt are:

  • cash and deposits;
  • advances paid; and
  • investments, loans and placements.

The ABS definitions are presented below.

ABS GFS: Cash and deposits

(i) notes and coins on hand; (ii) cheques held but not yet deposited; (iii) cash and deposits in both Australian currency and foreign currency, which are recoverable or transferable on demand and are held at all banks, non-bank financiers and other deposit taking institutions; (iv) deposits placed in the Short Term Money Market (for example grants received from the Commonwealth and deposited overnight); and (v) units issued by cash management trusts and withdrawable share capital of building societies. The item excludes bank certificates of deposit and fixed deposits held with banks;[10]

ABS GFS: Advances paid

this category refers to loans and other non-equity financial assets acquired for policy rather than liquidity management purposes. As a general rule, all loans made by general government to other government bodies, except loans made by central borrowing authorities, are deemed to be for policy purposes. Included are long and short term loans, non-marketable debentures, and long and short term promissory agreements (bonds and bills) issued to public sector units for the purpose of achieving government policy objectives. Excluded are government equity in public corporations…, grants and non-repayable funds, and investments for liquidity management and income generation purposes;[11]

ABS GFS: Investments, loans and placements

(i) nonnegotiable, non-transferable loans, other than advances; (ii) credit foncier loans; (iii) deferred payment schemes (re-purchase agreements); (iv) securities such as promissory notes; (v) bills of exchange; (vi) certificates of deposit; (vii) fixed term deposits; (viii) Treasury notes and bonds; (ix) redeemable preference shares; (x) debentures; (xi) long term notes; and (xii) net value of swaps and other derivatives that are in a net asset position;[12]

The alternative categories used by New South Wales are:

  • cash and cash equivalents;
  • advances paid; and
  • financial assets at fair value.

The New South Wales definitions are presented below.

New South Wales: Cash and cash equivalents

Cash and cash equivalent assets in the balance sheet comprise cash at bank and in hand, short-term deposits with an original maturity of three months or less, and deposits in NSW Treasury Corporation’s Hour-Glass Managed Fund Cash Facility.

For the purposes of the Cash Flow Statement, cash and cash equivalents consist of cash and cash equivalents as defined above, net of outstanding bank overdrafts.[13]

New South Wales: Advances paid

Advances paid comprise loans made for public policy purposes. As such, these advances are generally contracted at interest rates that are below market rates. Advances paid are initially measured at fair value plus transaction costs. Any additional amount lent on low interest loans (compared to the fair value) is expensed.

Advances paid consist of non-derivative financial assets with fixed or determinable payments that are intended to be held to maturity or are not quoted in an active market. These financial assets are subsequently measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method, in accordance with AASB 139. Changes in advances paid are accounted for when impaired (‘other economic flows – included in the operating result’), derecognised (‘other economic flows – included in the operating result’) or through an amortisation process (‘transaction’).[14]

New South Wales: Financial assets at fair value

Financial assets at fair value mainly include derivatives classified as ‘held for trading’ and certain investments designated at fair value through profit or loss, including the NSW Treasury Corporation Hour-Glass Investment facilities. In the Total State Sector Accounts, this also includes securities and placements held by NSW Treasury Corporation.

Financial assets at fair value are either classified as ‘held for trading’, ‘available for sale’ (the residual category) or are designated at ’fair value through profit and loss’, in accordance with AASB 139. Changes in fair value for assets classified or designated at fair value through profit and loss are recognised as an ‘other economic flow – included in the operating result’. Changes in fair value for available for sale assets are recognised as ‘other economic flows – other non-owner movements in equity’, until impaired or disposed of.

A change in fair value excludes ‘interest’ and ‘distributions’, which are recognised as ‘revenue from transactions’.

Financial assets designated at fair value through profit or loss, namely the TCorp Hour-Glass Investment facilities and the TCorp securities and placements, are designated on the basis that these financial assets are managed and their performance is evaluated on a fair value basis, in accordance with a documented risk management strategy.

Purchases and sales of financial assets under contracts that require delivery of the asset within the timeframe established by convention or regulation are recognised on the trade date i.e. the date that government was committed to purchase or sell the asset.[15]

The tables below use the definitions used in each jurisdiction’s budget papers.

Table 2a: General government sector: selected financial assets

   

2008–09

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

2012–13

NSW

Cash and cash equivalents

3 350

2 868

3 071

3 798

4 000

 

Advances paid

 780

 963

 976

 979

 977

 

Financial assets at fair value

5 272

6 983

7 657

8 309

9 026

 

Total

9 402

10 814

11 704

13 086

14 003

Vic

Cash and deposits

2 846

2 265

2 446

2 814

3 261

 

Advances paid

 269

 283

 297

4 515

4 481

 

Investments, loans and placements

2 551

2 663

2 645

2 636

2 650

 

Total

5 666

5 211

5 388

9 964

10 392

Qld

Cash and deposits

2 848

 531

 495

 544

 600

 

Advances paid

 575

 653

 716

 757

 769

 

Investments, loans and placements

26 624

27 916

29 265

30 609

31 887

 

Total

30 047

29 100

30 476

31 910

33 256

WA

Cash and deposits

 380

 544

 514

 520

 493

 

Advances paid

 716

 704

 689

 674

 660

 

Investments, loans and placements

4 168

3 452

2 873

2 385

2 075

 

Total

5 264

4 700

4 076

3 579

3 228

SA

Cash and deposits

3 084

2 378

2 317

2 417

2 538

 

Advances paid

 752

 677

 496

 203

 67

 

Investments, loans and placements

 140

 151

 163

 176

 189

 

Total

3 976

3 206

2 976

2 796

2 794

Tas

Cash and deposits

1 227

 930

 657

 414

 279

 

Investments

 48

 75

 94

 81

 60

 

Total

1 275

1 005

 751

 496

 339

ACT

Cash and deposits

 212

 154

 169

 202

 233

 

Advances paid

 719

1 072

1 173

1 116

1 103

 

Investments, loans and placements

2 983

2 973

2 966

2 986

3 273

 

Total

3 914

4 199

4 307

4 304

4 609

NT

Cash and deposits

 160

 102

 96

 119

 118

 

Advances paid

 129

 129

 130

 130

 131

 

Investments, loans and placements

 934

 748

 799

 844

 863

 

Total

1 222

 978

1 024

1 093

1 112

             

All states and territories

Total

60 766

59 213

60 703

67 228

69 733

   

Commonwealth

Cash and deposits

1 654

1 820

1 799

1 963

2 105

 

Advances paid

21 807

23 425

24 217

24 418

24 548

 

Investments, loans and placements

107 127

105 219

110 939

110 158

106 918

 

Total

130 588

130 464

136 955

136 539

133 571

Australia

Total

191 354

189 677

197 658

203 767

203 304

Source: Parliamentary Library estimates

Table 2b: Public non-financial corporations sector: selected financial assets

   

2008–09

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

2012–13

NSW

Cash and cash equivalents

2 146

1 460

1 730

1 915

2 275

 

Advances paid

 51

 57

 55

 64

 121

 

Financial assets at fair value

 983

 902

 926

 814

 873

 

Total

3 180

2 419

2 711

2 793

3 269

Vic

Cash and deposits

 716

 542

 553

 504

 232

 

Advances paid

 96

 80

 74

 66

 63

 

Investments, loans and placements

1 509

1 613

1 445

1 365

1 222

 

Total

2 321

2 236

2 073

1 935

1 516

Qld

Cash and deposits

2 135

 911

1 104

1 203

1 346

 

Advances paid

 311

 272

 249

 216

 193

 

Investments, loans and placements

 684

 542

 500

 478

 492

 

Total

3 130

1 725

1 853

1 897

2 031

WA

Cash and deposits

 774

 808

 625

 702

 829

 

Advances paid

         
 

Investments, loans and placements

3 089

3 957

4 443

4 957

5 561

 

Total

3 863

4 765

5 068

5 659

6 390

SA

Cash and deposits

 437

 418

 297

 257

 240

 

Advances paid

 60

 53

 46

 39

 31

 

Investments, loans and placements

 36

 35

 37

 38

 39

 

Total

 533

 506

 380

 334

 310

Tas

Cash and deposits

 208

 163

 162

 207

 238

 

Investments

 124

 21

 22

 19

 20

 

Total

 332

 184

 183

 226

 258

ACT

Cash and deposits

 111

 166

 120

 149

 152

 

Investments, loans and placements

 169

 153

 50

 6

 42

 

Total

 280

 318

 170

 156

 194

NT

Cash and deposits

 112

 87

 83

 100

 106

 

Advances paid

-

-

-

-

-

 

Investments, loans and placements

-

-

-

-

-

 

Total

 112

 87

 83

 100

 106

             

All states and territories

Total

13 751

12 240

12 520

13 100

14 074

   

Commonwealth

Cash and deposits

 933

 625

-

-

-

 

Advances paid

-

-

-

-

-

 

Investments, loans and placements

 521

 522

-

-

-

 

Total

1 454

1 147

-

-

-

Australia

Total

15 205

13 387

-

-

-

Source: Parliamentary Library estimates

Table 2c: Non-financial public sector: selected financial assets

   

2008–09

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

2012–13

NSW

Cash and cash equivalents

5 496

4 328

4 801

5 713

6 275

 

Advances paid

 320

 523

 548

 575

 644

 

Financial assets at fair value

6 024

7 547

8 135

8 599

9 332

 

Total

11 840

12 398

13 484

14 887

16 251

Vic

Cash and deposits

3 562

2 807

3 000

3 318

3 493

 

Advances paid

 365

 109

 103

 95

 91

 

Investments, loans and placements

4 060

4 276

4 090

4 001

3 872

 

Total

7 987

7 193

7 192

7 413

7 456

Qld

Cash and deposits

4 983

1 442

1 599

1 747

1 946

 

Advances paid

 873

 913

 953

 962

 951

 

Investments, loans and placements

27 308

28 458

29 765

31 087

32 379

 

Total

33 164

30 813

32 317

33 796

35 276

WA

Cash and deposits

 897

 974

1 035

1 138

1 217

 

Advances paid

 220

 217

 211

 207

 202

 

Investments, loans and placements

7 257

7 398

7 305

7 332

7 626

 

Total

8 374

8 589

8 551

8 677

9 045

SA

Cash and deposits

3 360

2 602

2 529

2 596

2 722

 

Advances paid

 71

 60

 58

 50

 43

 

Investments, loans and placements

 176

 186

 200

 214

 229

 

Total

3 607

2 848

2 787

2 860

2 994

Tas

Cash and deposits

1 435

1 093

 819

 621

 518

 

Investments

 172

 96

 115

 101

 79

 

Total

1 607

1 189

 934

 722

 597

ACT

Cash and deposits

 283

 297

 262

 316

 339

 

Advances paid

 28

 40

 49

 56

 56

 

Investments, loans and placements

3 152

3 126

3 016

2 992

3 315

 

Total

3 463

3 462

3 327

3 364

3 710

NT

Cash and deposits

 163

 105

 100

 120

 119

 

Advances paid

 129

 129

 130

 130

 131

 

Investments, loans and placements

 934

 748

 799

 844

 863

 

Total

1 226

 982

1 028

1 094

1 113

             

All states and territories

Total

71 267

67 474

69 621

72 813

76 441

   

Commonwealth

Cash and deposits

2 587

2 446

-

-

-

 

Advances paid

21 807

23 425

-

-

-

 

Investments, loans and placements

107 648

105 741

-

-

-

 

Total

132 042

131 612

-

-

-

Australia

Total

203 309

199 086

-

-

-

Source: Parliamentary Library estimates

Selected financial liabilities (gross debt)

On the liabilities side of the balance sheet, all jurisdictions use classifications that are consistent with the ABS GFS standards. If positive/(negative), these liabilities add to/(subtract from) net debt. The term ‘gross debt’ is commonly applied to either all of the components listed below, or alternatively, just the borrowing component. The classifications are:

  • deposits held;
  • advances received; and
  • borrowings.

Some jurisdictions provide additional disaggregation, while some combine two of the categories. The ABS definitions are presented below.

ABS GFS: Deposits held

…currency on issue (i.e. coins on issue from the Commonwealth Treasury and notes on issue from the Reserve Bank of Australia), which are liabilities of the government. Also included are holdings of cash balances or deposits from other public sector or private sector bodies, including trust accounts held on behalf of other public sector or private bodies. Excluded are employee superannuation trust fund balances or any trust balances held to reduce employee entitlement liability.[16]

ABS GFS: Advances received

this item includes loans and other repayable funds received from government authorities for policy purposes rather than income generation or liquidity management purposes. The item excludes loans from non-government sources and grants and non-repayable funds received;[17]

ABS GFS: Borrowings

liabilities, other than advances, created through direct agreements with lenders, the sale of securities and acquisition of finance leases. The item includes: (i) finance leases, which are lease arrangements in which most of the risks and benefits of ownership rest with the lessee; (ii) loans, including bank overdrafts; long and short term loans in both Australian currency and foreign currency; credit foncier loans; and deferred payment schemes (re-purchase agreements); and (iii) securities, including promissory notes; bills of exchange; certificates of deposit; fixed term deposits; Treasury notes and bonds; debentures; long term notes; net value of swaps and other derivatives in a net liability position.[18]

As in the previous section, the tables below use the definitions used in each jurisdiction’s budget papers.

Table 3a: General government sector: selected financial liabilities

   

2008–09

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

2012–13

NSW

Deposits held

 72

 64

 57

 60

 63

 

Advances received

 835

 806

 778

 747

 716

 

Borrowings and derivatives at fair value

 21

 23

 26

 29

 32

 

Borrowings at amortised cost

16 582

21 934

24 714

25 709

26 193

 

Borrowings - Total

16 603

21 957

24 740

25 738

26 225

 

Total

17 510

22 827

25 575

26 545

27 004

Vic

Deposits held and advances received

 316

 316

 315

 315

 315

 

Borrowings

10 641

14 787

18 365

25 451

26 043

 

Total

10 957

15 103

18 680

25 766

26 357

Qld

Deposits held

 4

-

-

-

-

 

Advances received

 484

 470

 458

 446

 436

 

Borrowings

10 278

17 063

27 053

33 879

38 274

 

Total

10 766

17 533

27 511

34 325

38 710

WA

Deposits held

 391

 535

 260

 239

 261

 

Advances received

 496

 487

 477

 468

 458

 

Borrowings

1 847

4 452

6 606

7 966

8 673

 

Total

2 734

5 474

7 343

8 673

9 392

SA

Deposits held

 335

 374

 270

 269

 253

 

Advances received

 628

 610

 592

 591

 572

 

Borrowings

3 488

4 288

4 974

5 209

5 320

 

Total

4 451

5 272

5 836

6 069

6 145

Tas

Borrowings

 293

 312

 330

 310

 279

 

Total

 293

 312

 330

 310

 279

ACT

Deposits held

 55

 38

 42

 50

 60

 

Advances received

 99

 96

 93

 89

 86

 

Borrowings -finance leases

 61

 22

 23

 22

 22

 

Borrowings - other

 895

1 208

1 545

1 461

1 446

 

Borrowings - Total

 956

1 230

1 568

1 482

1 468

 

Total

1 110

1 364

1 703

1 622

1 615

NT

Deposits held

 193

 157

 163

 212

 237

 

Advances received

 252

 245

 219

 211

 203

 

Borrowings

1 614

1 611

1 828

1 921

1 919

 

Total

2 059

2 014

2 209

2 344

2 360

             

All states and territories

Total

49 880

69 899

89 187

105 653

111 861

   

Commonwealth

Deposits held

 230

 230

 230

 230

 230

 

Advances received

-

-

-

-

-

 

Borrowings

114 209

175 405

227 122

258 122

268 837

 

Total

114 439

175 635

227 352

258 352

269 067

Australia

Total

164 319

245 534

316 539

364 005

380 928

Source: Parliamentary Library estimates

Table 3b: Public non-financial corporations sector: selected financial liabilities

   

2008–09

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

2012–13

NSW

Deposits held

 99

 66

 66

 67

 67

 

Advances received

 512

 497

 483

 469

 455

 

Borrowings and derivatives at fair value

 240

 212

 145

 141

 141

 

Borrowings at amortised cost

23 075

28 400

33 469

37 989

42 365

 

Borrowings - Total

23 315

28 612

33 614

38 130

42 506

 

Total

23 926

29 175

34 163

38 666

43 028

Vic

Deposits held and advances received

 104

 104

 101

 99

 99

 

Borrowings

7 618

9 600

10 938

16 254

16 731

 

Total

7 722

9 703

11 039

16 353

16 830

Qld

Deposits held

-

-

-

-

-

 

Advances received

 13

 12

 11

 11

 10

 

Borrowings

32 368

36 648

41 122

44 639

46 498

 

Total

32 381

36 660

41 133

44 650

46 508

WA

Deposits held

 8

 2

 2

 2

 2

 

Advances received

 496

 487

 477

 468

 458

 

Borrowings

13 692

16 706

18 344

19 968

21 252

 

Total

14 196

17 195

18 823

20 438

21 712

SA

Deposits held

-

-

 1

 1

 2

 

Advances received

 742

 670

 484

 191

 55

 

Borrowings

2 190

3 177

3 603

3 695

3 730

 

Total

2 932

3 847

4 088

3 887

3 787

Tas

Borrowings

2 512

2 855

3 090

3 175

3 268

 

Total

2 512

2 855

3 090

3 175

3 268

ACT

Advances received

 797

1 134

1 219

1 151

1 133

 

Borrowings -finance leases

 1

 1

 1

 1

 1

 

Borrowings - other

0

- 103

- 60

- 74

- 71

 

Borrowings - Total

 1

- 102

- 59

- 73

- 70

 

Total

 798

1 032

1 160

1 078

1 063

NT

Deposits held

0

0

0

0

0

 

Advances received

-

-

-

-

-

 

Borrowings

 605

 806

1 028

1 177

1 331

 

Total

 606

 806

1 029

1 178

1 331

             

All states and territories

Total

85 074

101 273

114 524

129 424

137 527

   

Commonwealth

Deposits held

-

-

-

-

-

 

Advances received

-

-

-

-

-

 

Borrowings

 978

1 370

-

-

-

 

Total

 978

1 370

-

-

-

Australia

Total

86 052

102 643

-

-

-

Source: Parliamentary Library estimates

Table 3c: Non-financial public sector: selected financial liabilities

   

2008–09

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

2012–13

NSW

Deposits held

 171

 130

 124

 127

 130

 

Advances received

 836

 807

 777

 747

 716

 

Borrowings and derivatives at fair value

 261

 235

 171

 170

 173

 

Borrowings at amortised cost

39 426

49 995

57 735

63 176

67 991

 

Borrowings - Total

39 687

50 230

57 906

63 346

68 164

 

Total

40 694

51 167

58 807

64 220

69 010

Vic

Deposits held and advances received

 421

 419

 415

 413

 413

 

Borrowings

18 259

24 136

29 037

37 220

38 321

 

Total

18 680

24 555

29 452

37 633

38 734

Qld

Deposits held

 4

 1

 1

 1

 1

 

Advances received

 484

 470

 458

 446

 435

 

Borrowings

42 645

53 710

68 174

78 517

84 771

 

Total

43 133

54 181

68 633

78 964

85 207

WA

Deposits held

 142

 148

 148

 148

 148

 

Advances received

 496

 487

 477

 468

 458

 

Borrowings

15 539

21 158

24 950

27 934

29 925

 

Total

16 177

21 793

25 575

28 550

30 531

SA

Deposits held

 174

 181

 187

 193

 200

 

Advances received

 628

 610

 592

 591

 572

 

Borrowings

5 677

7 465

8 576

8 904

9 050

 

Total

6 479

8 256

9 355

9 688

9 822

Tas

Borrowings

2 804

3 166

3 420

3 485

3 547

 

Total

2 804

3 166

3 420

3 485

3 547

ACT

Deposits held

 15

 15

 15

 15

 15

 

Advances received

 205

 198

 188

 180

 172

 

Borrowings -finance leases

 62

 23

 24

 23

 23

 

Borrowings - other

 895

1 105

1 485

1 387

1 376

 

Borrowings - Total

 957

1 128

1 509

1 409

1 399

 

Total

1 178

1 341

1 713

1 605

1 585

NT

Deposits held

 85

 75

 85

 113

 133

 

Advances received

 252

 245

 219

 211

 203

 

Borrowings

2 219

2 417

2 856

3 098

3 250

 

Total

2 556

2 737

3 160

3 422

3 586

             

All states and territories

Total

131 700

167 196

200 114

227 567

242 022

             

Commonwealth

Deposits held

 230

 230

-

-

-

 

Advances received

-

-

-

-

-

 

Borrowings

115 188

176 775

-

-

-

 

Total

115 418

177 005

-

-

-

Australia

Total

247 118

344 201

-

-

-

Source: Parliamentary Library estimates

International comparisons of net debt

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Economic Outlook (WEO) database contains data for the G7 economies on gross and net debt levels both in national currencies and as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP).[19] The WEO database metadata indicates that for all G7 countries, relevant financial assets and liabilities of the general government sector of national, state and local levels of government are included in the published data.[20] The data provided in this section, in addition to the widely-reported Commonwealth figures, take account of state and territory balance sheets (although local government is ignored) and as such, enable a more accurate comparison of Australian and G7 net debt positions.

Table 4 presents a consistent time series from 1998–99 to 2012–13 of Commonwealth and total state and territory net debt, which sum together to produce an Australian net debt time series that is more consistent with the data for G7 countries published by the IMF. From 1998–99 to 2007–08, he data are taken directly from the 2007–08 ABS GFS publication. These data are then spliced with the data compiled in Table 1a above.

Table 5 presents a comparison between Australia and G7 countries of net debt levels as a percentage of GDP.

Based on the data presented below, Australian net debt (on an IMF comparable basis) is projected to reach 12.3 per cent of GDP by 30 June 2013. These data will almost certainly be revised (most likely downwards, due to better than forecast growth in real GDP and a lower than forecast unemployment rate leading to improved budget outcomes) as jurisdictions hand down their 2010–11 budgets.

Table 4: IMF-comparable data on Australian net debt

 

Data from Budget Papers

ABS data and totals

     
 

ACT (formal)

NSW

QLD

NT

SA

TAS

WA

VIC

CW

All States

Common-wealth

Comparable IMF GGS Net debt

Ratio to GDP (per cent)

1998-99

                 

14 463

72 064

86 527

14.3

1999-00

                 

8 902

54 543

63 445

9.9

2000-01

                 

2 269

41 255

43 524

6.3

2001-02

                 

-3 877

35 901

32 024

4.4

2002-03

                  

-8 513

26 320

17 807

2.3

2003-04

                 

-14 936

18 553

3 617

0.4

2004-05

                 

-22 069

7 624

-14 445

-1.6

2005-06

                 

-31 787

-13 761

-45 548

-4.9

2006-07

                 

-27 570

-34 291

-61 861

-5.9

2007-08

                 

-23 754

-46 808

-70 562

-6.3

2008-09

-2 804

8 108

-19 281

 837

 475

- 982

-2 618

5 292

-16 148

-10 974

-16 148

-27 122

-2.2

2009-10

-2 835

12 013

-11 566

1 036

2 067

- 693

 686

9 892

45 171

10 600

45 171

55 771

4.6

2010-11

-2 605

13 871

-2 964

1 185

2 860

- 421

3 180

13 292

90 396

28 399

90 396

118 795

9.2

2011-12

-2 682

13 459

2 416

1 251

3 274

- 186

5 006

15 802

121 814

38 340

121 814

160 154

11.7

2012-13

-2 995

13 001

5 455

1 248

3 351

- 60

6 076

15 966

135 497

42 041

135 497

177 538

12.3

 

Sources:

1998-99 to 2007-08: ABS, Government Finance Statistics, Australia, Cat No. 5512.0; 2008-09: Final Budget Outcomes/Annual Financial Reports/Reports on State Finances, etc.; 2009-10 to 2012-13: State, Territory and Commonwealth 2009-10 Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook/Budget Update/Mid-Year Reviews etc.

Notes:

1. This series is a Parliamentary Library estimate. The measured net debt comprises the sum of the State, Territory and Australian Government net debt measures. These data are then compared to the IMF GDP ratios to estimate an equivalent ratio to GDP.

2. The ACT component of the Australian measure is based on technical net debt measurement, which includes superannuation assets and increases the net asset position of that jurisdiction. The Parliamentary Library estimate of Australian net debt does not include local government which is included in the IMF's estimates for the G7 countries.

3. GDP data are derived by dividing the reported CW MYEFO net debt by the reported CW MYEFO net debt to GDP ratio.

Table 5: G7 and Australian net debt: IMF comparable basis

IMF comparable net debt (per cent of GDP)

 

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Australia

-5.9

-6.3

-2.2

4.6

9.2

11.7

12.3

Canada

23.5

22.2

28.2

31.3

31.8

31.4

30.7

France

54.1

57.8

67.0

72.9

76.9

79.9

81.8

Germany

56.9

60.5

70.3

76.2

79.6

81.6

82.2

Italy

101.3

103.6

112.8

117.0

120.3

122.8

124.5

Japan

80.4

88.1

104.6

115.0

122.3

129.6

136.7

United Kingdom

38.3

45.6

62.1

75.1

82.8

87.6

90.4

United States

42.3

47.9

58.2

66.8

72.3

76.2

80.3

Notes:

Australian data are Parliamentary Library estimates and relate to Australian financial years (ending 30 June).
G7 data were downloaded on 22 March 2010 from IMF WEO database (October 2009) and relate to end of calendar years.
For all G7 countries except Japan, estimates commence at 2008. For Japan, estimates commence at 2007.

Appendix A: IMF World Economic Outlook database metadata[21]

Subject Notes:

General government net debt (national currency)

General government net debt refers to gross debt of the general government minus its financial assets in the form of debt instruments. Examples of financial assets in the form of debt instruments are government’s investment in other entities’ debt securities (such as bills and bonds), loans extended by government, and other accounts receivable.

General government net debt (per cent of GDP)

General government net debt refers to gross debt of the general government minus its financial assets in the form of debt instruments. Examples of financial assets in the form of debt instruments are government’s investment in other entities’ debt securities (such as bills and bonds), loans extended by government, and other accounts receivable.

General government gross debt (national currency)

General government gross debt refers to recognized financial liabilities of the general government that are serviced through interest and/or principal payments. Examples are debt securities issued (such as bills and bonds), loans obtained, and other accounts payable. Guaranteed debt is excluded from government gross debt until called.

General government gross debt (per cent of GDP)

General government gross debt refers to recognized financial liabilities of the general government that are serviced through interest and/or principal payments. Examples are debt securities issued (such as bills and bonds), loans obtained, and other accounts payable. Guaranteed debt is excluded from government gross debt until called.

Country specific Notes:

Canada: General government net debt (national currency)

GFS Manual Used: 2001 Basis of Recording: Noncash (accrual) Includes: Central Government, State Government, Local Government, Social Security Funds, Nonfinancial Public Corporations. Source: National Statistical Office Latest actual data: 2008 Notes: On a consolidated general government basis. Net debt equals gross debt minus total financial assets (less holding of own liabilities) of federal, provincial, and local governments, and social security trust funds. Primary domestic currency: Canadian dollars Data last updated: 09/2009

Canada: General government net debt (per cent of GDP)

See notes for: Gross domestic product, current prices (national currency) General government net debt (national currency).

Canada: General government gross debt (national currency)

GFS Manual Used: 2001 Basis of Recording: Noncash (accrual) Includes: Central Government, State Government, Local Government, Social Security Funds, Nonfinancial Public Corporations. Source: National Statistical Office Latest actual data: 2008 Notes: On a consolidated general government basis. Gross debt equals the total liabilities of federal, provincial, and local governments minus government bonds held by federal, provincial, and local governments, and social security trust funds. Unfunded liabilities of government employee pension plans and an autonomous and liabilities of funded pension scheme created in 1998 for government employees are excluded from general government gross debt. Primary domestic currency: Canadian dollars Data last updated: 09/2009

Canada: General government gross debt (per cent of GDP)

See notes for: Gross domestic product, current prices (national currency) General government gross debt (national currency).

France: General government net debt (national currency)

GFS Manual Used: 2001 Basis of Recording: Noncash (accrual) Includes: Central Government, Local Government, Social Security Funds. Source: National Statistical Office Latest actual data: 2008 Primary domestic currency: Euros Data last updated: 09/2009

France: General government net debt (per cent of GDP)

See notes for: Gross domestic product, current prices (national currency) General government net debt (national currency).

France: General government gross debt (national currency)

GFS Manual Used: 2001 Basis of Recording: Noncash (accrual) Includes: Central Government, Local Government, Social Security Funds. Source: National Statistical Office. Based on Maastricht definition Latest actual data: 2008 Primary domestic currency: Euros Data last updated: 09/2009

France: General government gross debt (per cent of GDP)

See notes for: Gross domestic product, current prices (national currency) General government gross debt (national currency).

Germany: General government net debt (national currency)

GFS Manual Used: 2001 Basis of Recording: Noncash (accrual) Includes: Central Government, State Government, Local Government, Social Security Funds. Source: Ministry of Finance Latest actual data: 2008 Notes: Data until 1990 refers to German federation only (West Germany). Data from 1991 refer to United Germany. General government net debt is consolidated net debt; it is calculated on a Maastricht basis to ensure comparability with other EU countries. General government net debt is gross debt minus deposits by German public authorities in the German banking system. Beginning in 1995, the debt and debt-service obligations of the Treuhandanstalt (and of various other agencies) were taken over by general government. This debt is equivalent to 8 percent of GDP, and the associated debt service, to ½ to 1 percent of GDP. Primary domestic currency: Euros Data last updated: 09/2009

Germany: General government net debt (per cent of GDP)

See notes for: Gross domestic product, current prices (national currency) General government net debt (national currency).

Germany: General government gross debt (national currency)

GFS Manual Used: 2001 Basis of Recording: Noncash (accrual) Includes: Central Government, State Government, Local Government, Social Security Funds. Source: Ministry of Finance Latest actual data: 2008 Notes: Data until 1990 refers to German federation only (West Germany). Data from 1991 refer to United Germany. General government gross debt is consolidated gross debt; it is calculated on a Maastricht basis to ensure comparability with other EU countries. Beginning in 1995, the debt and debt-service obligations of the Treuhandanstalt (and of various other agencies) were taken over by general government. This debt is equivalent to 8 percent of GDP, and the associated debt service, to ½ to 1 percent of GDP. Primary domestic currency: Euros Data last updated: 09/2009

Germany: General government gross debt (per cent of GDP)

See notes for: Gross domestic product, current prices (national currency) General government gross debt (national currency).

Italy: General government net debt (national currency)

GFS Manual Used: ESA-95 Basis of Recording: Noncash (accrual) Includes: Central Government, Local Government, Social Security Funds. Source: Bank of Italy Latest actual data: 2008 Primary domestic currency: Euros Data last updated: 09/2009

Italy: General government net debt (per cent of GDP)

See notes for: Gross domestic product, current prices (national currency) General government net debt (national currency).

Italy: General government gross debt (national currency)

GFS Manual Used: ESA-95 Basis of Recording: Noncash (accrual) Includes: Central Government, Local Government, Social Security Funds. Source: Bank of Italy Latest actual data: 2008 Primary domestic currency: Euros Data last updated: 09/2009

Italy: General government gross debt (per cent of GDP)

See notes for: Gross domestic product, current prices (national currency) General government gross debt (national currency).

Japan: General government net debt (national currency)

GFS Manual Used: Authorities used GFS 1986 manual in the past, but have not fully moved to 2001 manual. Basis of Recording: Noncash (accrual) Includes: Central Government, Local Government, Social Security Funds. Source: IMF Staff Latest actual data: 2007 Notes: Net debt is defined as gross debt minus all the assets of the central and local governments and the social security system. Primary domestic currency: Japanese yen Data last updated: 09/2009

Japan: General government net debt (per cent of GDP)

See notes for: Gross domestic product, current prices (national currency) General government net debt (national currency).

Japan: General government gross debt (national currency)

GFS Manual Used: Authorities used GFS 1986 manual in the past, but have not fully moved to 2001 manual. Basis of Recording: Noncash (accrual) Includes: Central Government, Local Government, Social Security Funds. Source: Nomura and Japan Cabinet Office. Latest actual data: 2007 Notes: Gross debt is simply gross government liabilities (domestic and external). Primary domestic currency: Japanese yen Data last updated: 09/2009

Japan: General government gross debt (per cent of GDP)

See notes for: Gross domestic product, current prices (national currency) General government gross debt (national currency).

United Kingdom: General government net debt (national currency)

GFS Manual Used: 2001 Basis of Recording: Noncash (accrual) Includes: Central Government, Local Government. Source: National Statistical Office Latest actual data: 2008 Primary domestic currency: Sterling pounds Data last updated: 09/2009

United Kingdom: General government net debt (per cent of GDP)

See notes for: Gross domestic product, current prices (national currency) General government net debt (national currency).

United Kingdom: General government gross debt (national currency)

GFS Manual Used: 2001 Basis of Recording: Noncash (accrual) Includes: Central Government, Local Government Source: National Statistical Office Latest actual data: 2008 Notes: General government gross debt is consolidated gross debt; it is calculated on a national accounts basis, which differs slightly from the Maastricht definition in the treatment of swaps and the reclassification of National Health Service (NHS) trusts. Primary domestic currency: Sterling pounds Data last updated: 09/2009

United Kingdom: General government gross debt (per cent of GDP)

See notes for: Gross domestic product, current prices (national currency) General government gross debt (national currency).

United States: General government net debt (national currency)

GFS Manual Used: 2001 Basis of Recording: Noncash (accrual) Includes: Central Government, State Government, Local Government, Social Security Funds. Source: Haver analytics Latest actual data: 2008 Primary domestic currency: U.S. dollars Data last updated: 09/2009

United States: General government net debt (per cent of GDP)

See notes for: Gross domestic product, current prices (national currency) General government net debt (national currency).

United States: General government gross debt (national currency)

GFS Manual Used: 2001 Basis of Recording: Noncash (accrual) Includes: Central Government, State Government, Local Government, Social Security Funds. Source: Haver analytics Latest actual data: 2008 Notes: Reported gross/net debt reflect the gross liabilities and net worth (respectively) of the general government, using the Federal Reserve Flow-of-Funds measure of financial assets and liabilities. The definition of liabilities is taken as: State and local liabilities and Federal government liabilities less: State and local holdings of Treasury securities and State and local debt to the federal government (the last two are to prevent double counting). The federal government liabilities in the Flow of Funds exclude the debt held by government trust funds (Social Security, Medicare, and other), and they include pension fund and life insurance reserves as liabilities. Primary domestic currency: U.S. dollars Data last updated: 09/2009

United States: General government gross debt (per cent of GDP)

See notes for: Gross domestic product, current prices (national currency) General government gross debt (national currency).

Appendix B: Electronic references—Links to source documents

States and territories

Commonwealth



[1].       The general government sector is comprised of government departments and agencies that provide non-market public services and are funded mainly through taxes. Public non-financial corporations provide goods and services to consumers on a commercial basis, are funded largely by the sale of these goods and services and are generally legally distinguishable from the governments that own them. For more detail, see: Australian Government, ‘Appendix B: Australian Government budget financial statements’, Mid-year economic and fiscal outlook 2009–10, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 2009, p. 257–262, viewed 22 March 2010, http://www.budget.gov.au/2009-10/content/myefo/download/MYEFO_2009-10.pdf

[2].       International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook (WEO) database, October 2009, viewed 12 March 2010, http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2009/02/weodata/index.aspx

[3].       Australian Government, ‘Part 1: Overview’, Mid-year economic and fiscal outlook 2009–10, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 2009, p. 8, viewed 22 March 2010, http://www.budget.gov.au/2009-10/content/myefo/download/MYEFO_2009-10.pdf

[4].       See, for example, the metadata for gross and net debt measures for G7 countries when downloading a report from the IMF WEO database, viewed 12 March 2010: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2009/02/weodata/weorept.aspx?sy=2000&ey=2014&ssm=1&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=156%2C158%2C132%2C112%2C134%2C111%2C136&s=GGND%2CGGD&grp=0&a=&pr.x=70&pr.y=11#notes

[5].       Australian Government, Final budget outcome: 2008–09, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 2009, viewed 22 March 2010, http://www.budget.gov.au/2008-09/content/fbo/download/2008_09_FBO.pdf 

[6].       Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australian system of government finance statistics: concepts, sources and methods cat. no. 5514.0, 2005, Canberra, viewed 1 March 2010, http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/subscriber.nsf/0/87520B9D70A82D47CA25706F00795A8D/$File/55140_2005.pdf

[7].       An explanation of the major differences between ABS GFS and AASB 1049 is given in: Australian Government, ‘Appendix B: Australian Government budget financial statements’, Mid-year economic and fiscal outlook 2009–10, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 2009, p. 263–264, viewed 22 March 2010, http://www.budget.gov.au/2009-10/content/myefo/download/MYEFO_2009-10.pdf

[8].       All of the tables presented in the current and subsequent sections are available to Members, Senators and their staff from the author upon request.

[9].       ABS, Australian system of government finance statistics: concepts, sources and methods, Canberra, Australia, 2005, viewed 12 March 2010,   http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/5514.0.55.001Contents102005?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=5514.0.55.001&issue=2005&num=&view=

[10].     ibid., p. 44.

[11].     The ABS GFS manual refers to ‘advances outstanding’. ABS, op. cit., 2005, p. 45.

[12].     ibid., p. 45.

[13].     New South Wales Government, Report on State Finances: 2008–09, New South Wales Treasury, 29 October 2009, p. 1–18, viewed 12 March 2010,       http://www.treasury.nsw.gov.au/?a=16096

[14].     NSW Government, op. cit., 2008–09, p. 1–19.

[15].     ibid., pp. 1–18 to 1–19.

[16].     ABS, op. cit., 2005, p. 46.

[17].     The ABS GFS manual refers to ‘proceeds from advances’. ABS, op. cit., 2005, p. 46.

[18].     ABS, op. cit., 2005, p. 47.

[19].     The G7 countries are: the United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Canada. IMF, ‘World Economic Outlook database’, IMF website, October 2009, viewed 12 March 2009, http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2009/02/weodata/index.aspx

[20].     The metadata are reproduced in Appendix A. Indeed, for Canada, PNFCs are also included.

[21].     The metadata presented in this appendix has been directly reproduced from the IMF WEO database with minimal editing/formatting applied.

 

For copyright reasons some linked items are only available to members of Parliament.


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