Bills Digest 27 1996-97 Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 1996-97

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This Digest is prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments.

This Digest was available from 11 September 1996.


Passage History

Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 1996-97

Date Introduced: 20 August 1996
House: House of Representatives
Portfolio: Finance
Commencement: Royal Assent


This Bill, together with the Supply Act (No. 1) 1996-97, appropriates a total of $32 141 516 000 from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) for the ordinary annual services of government for the 1996-97 financial year.


The second reading speech for this Bill is the vehicle used to introduce the Budget.

This Bill forms part of a package relating to government finance. The Bill covers expenditure for the ordinary annual services of government, while the Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 1996-97 deals with expenditure on capital works and programs, payments to the States and Territories other expenditure not covered by specific legislation. Spending for the Parliamentary Departments is sought under the Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill 1996-97. If the amount appropriated under these Bills is insufficient for the year, additional funding may be sought through further Appropriation Bills, usually introduced in the March/April period. Authority to spend under the Appropriation Acts lapses on 30 June and spending between this time and the passing of the next years Appropriation Bills is authorised under the Supply Acts, which are usually introduced late in the financial year.

The Budget deficit for 1996-97 is estimated to be $5649 million (1.1% of GDP) compared with a deficit of $10 317 million (2.1% of GDP) in 1995-96. The deficit for 1997-98 is estimated to be $1548 million (0.3% of GDP). Measures taken since the march 1996 election and in the Budget are estimated to reduce expenditure by $2 900 million in 1996-97 and $5 200 million in 1997-98.(1)

The Budget is based on a number of economic assumptions, including the following annual percentage growth rates:

Real GDP: 3.5%

Employment: 1.25%

Wages: 5%

CPI: 2%

Revenue: Total revenue for 1996-97 is estimated to be $130 160 million, an increase of $8 670 million (or 7%) over 1995-96. The main increases in revenue will come from increases in tax revenue, with individuals income tax increasing by $5 526 million (or 9.1%) and company tax by $1 448 million (or 7.9%). Non-tax revenue is estimated to fall by $170 million (or 3.2%) when compared to 1995-96.(2)

Outlays: Total outlays for 1996-97 are estimated to be $129 686.5 million (or 25.2% of GDP) compared with $126 705.2 million in 1995-96 (or 26.1% of GDP). The estimated expenditure for 1996-97 represents a real decrease of 0.5% over the previous year.(3)Major reductions in spending occur in the following Departments:

Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs: The appropriation for 1996-97 is $2 838.251 million, compared to spending of $3 458.434 million in 1995-96. Reductions occur in labour market and training assistance, the Australian National Training Authority and the Teacher Professional Development Program.

Industrial Relations: The appropriation for 1996-97 is $127.805 million compared to spending of $170.671 in 1995-96. Main reductions occur in relation to the Trade Union Training Authority, the Australian Industrial Registry, the Affirmative Action Agency and the International Labour Organisation.

Important program changes are dealt with in the Parliamentary Research Service's publication Budget Review 1996-97 and readers are referred to that document for further information.

Main Provisions

Clause 3 will authorise the Minister for Finance to issue $17 618 980 000 from the CRF for the ordinary annual services of the government during 1996-97 as specified in Schedule 3 of the Bill (which provides a Departmental and program breakdown of the expenditure), while clause 4 provides that this amount, combined with the funds appropriated under the Supply Act (No. 1) 1996-97, will amount to an annual appropriation of $32 141 516 000.

Clause 5 will authorise the Minister for Finance to issue additional funds in respect of increases in salaries in 1996-97.

Other provisions of the Bill relate to:

  • the funding of bodies, such as the Productivity Commission, which have yet to come into existence. These may also make provision for the transfer of funds from current programs and bodies to the new bodies;
  • amendments to the Supply Act (No. 1) 1996-97 to reflect earlier spending reductions; and
  • amendments to the proposed Financial Management and Accountability Act 1996 (the amendments are essentially of a technical nature).


(1) Budget Paper No. 1 1996-97, pp. 1-3 to 1-7.

(2) Ibid., p. 4-3.

(3) Ibid., p. 3-11.

Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Chris Field Ph. 06 277 2439
6 September 1996
Bills Digest Service
Parliamentary Research Service

This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine whether the Bill has been enacted and, if so, whether the subsequent Act reflects further amendments.

PRS staff are available to discuss the paper's contents with Senators and Members and their staff but not with members of the public.

ISSN 1323-9032
© Commonwealth of Australia 1996

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Published by the Department of the Parliamentary Library, 1996.

This page was prepared by the Parliamentary Library, Commonwealth of Australia
Last updated: 6 September 1996

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