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Thursday, 7 May 1970

Mr Hayden asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

(1)   What conditional grants were made to each of the States in each of the past 5 years.

(2)   In each case what was the (a) amount allocated in the Budget; and (b) payment actually made under the grant to each of the Slates during this period.

(3)   Will he give the reasons for any differences between Budget provisions and amounts actually provided.

Mr Bury - The answer to the honourable members question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) The information which the honourable member seeks is available in the Budget document 'Commonwealth Payments to or for the States' issued for each of the years 1964-65 to 1969-70. Copies of these publications are available in the Parliamentary Library.

(3)   In the case of specific purpose payments of a revenue nature, the divergences between budget estimates and actual payments have not been signi ficant in the last 5 years, except tor natural disaster relief payments. The main reason for divergences in these payments arises from the fact that it is impossible to estimate the occurrence, duration and severity of such events at the beginning of the year. Natural disaster relief payments are also of significance in explaining differences between the estimates and actual payments of a capital nature. A further factor is that the large capital undertakings of the States which have been the subject of Commonwealth assistance tend to have uneven expenditure patterns arising from unforeseen circumstances. It is thus difficult for the Slates, on whose advice the estimates are based, to predict accurately the advances required in a particular year for the capital works involved.

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