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Tuesday, 16 August 1960

Expenditure charged to Consolidated Revenue Fund amounted to £1,431,818,000 in 1959-60, which was £46,555,000 greater than the Budget estimate.

In the Budget, it was estimated that £155,800,000 of Defence expenditure would be charged to the Consolidated Revenue Fund in 1959-60 and £37,000,000 to Loan Fund, but the amount actually charged to Consolidated Revenue Fund was £181,599,000 and the amount charged to Loan Fund £11,986,000. In total, Defence expenditure was £785,000 greater than the Budget estimate of £192,800,000.

Debt Charges exceeded the Budget estimate by £2,429,000, principally because the interest dates of securities offered in the September, 1959 conversion loan differed from that of the maturing securities and because of the introduction during the year of Seasonal Treasury Notes.

Expenditure on War and Repatriation Services was £634,000 less than the estimate. The excess of recoveries over expenditure on supplies and services provided to other Governments was £945,000 greater than estimated. In addition, there was a saving of £582,000 in expenditure on Reconstruction and Rehabilitation, mainly because expend:lure on War Service Land Settlement was less than had been estimated. On the other hand, Repatriation benefits cost £845,000 more than expected; of this amount, £252,000 was for the maintenance of departmental institutions and £589,000 for medical treatment.

Payments from the National Welfare Fund were £1,422,000 less than the Budget estimate. Expenditure on Age and Invalid Pensions fell short of the estimate by £2,453,000, expenditure on Tuberculosis Benefits by £582,000 and expenditure on Unemployment and Sickness Benefits by £447,000. On the other hand, expenditure on Hospital Benefits was £1,877,000 greater than estimated and expenditure on Pharmaceutical Benefits for Pensioners £338,000 greater.

Departmental expenditure was £2,863,000 greater than the Budget estimate. Increases in wage and salary margins granted during the year fully account for this.

Expenditure on Bounties and Subsidies was £548,000 less than the Budget estimate. Because of a higher world price of copper, bounty payments of copper producers were £492,000 less than expected.

Miscellaneous Expenditure exceeded the Budget estimate by £10,534,000, mainly because of payments of £11,216,000 to the International Monetary Fund and £596,000 to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. These payments, which had not been provided for in the Estimates, were associated with an increase during the year in Australia's quota in the Fund and an increase in Australia's subscription to the Bank. On the other hand, expenditures on International Development and Relief and of the Department of National Development were below the Budget estimates by £1,038,000 and £734,000 respectively.

Railways expenditure was £71,000 more than had been estimated, and expenditure on Broadcasting and Television £357,000 greater. Post Office expenditure was £2,640,000 greater than the Budget estimate, mainly because of increases in wage and salary margins, a determination on penalty rates which was made during the year, and restoration of services after gale and storm damage. In addition, £430,000 was paid to Qantas Empire Airways Ltd. for operating mail services previously provided by other international airlines. (A considerable portion of the amount thus paid is recoverable to revenue.)

Payments to or for the States were, in total £313,000 below the Budget estimate. The outlay required to complete payments to the States under the Commonwealth Air Roads Act 1954-1956 was £421,000 less than estimated and expenditures in relation to Tuberculosis Hospitals and Mental Institutions were below the Budget estimates by £249,000 and £218,000, respectively. Financial assistance to the States for universities was £372,000 less than had been estimated. On the other hand, special grants to claimant States exceeded the estimate by £1,027,000, this being the amount paid to South Australia upon a recommendation of the Commonwealth Grants Commission, which was received in April, 1960, as a final adjustment of its special grant in respect of 1958-59.

Expenditure on Capital Works and Services was £119,000 greater than the Budget estimate. Expenditure by the Snowy Mountains HydroElectric Authority was £2,650,000 greater than estimated, because work progressed faster than had been expected, and expenditure in respect of the Post Office was £530,000 greater. On the other hand, expenditure on Railway Standardization fell short of the Budget estimate by £1,235,000, and there were also savings on several other items, including £677,000 on account of the Northern Territory and £251,000 on Commonwealth offices and other buildings outside the Australian Capital Territory by the Department of the Interior.

The amount transferred to the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve were £41,382,000, or £4,382,000 greater than estimated in the Budget.

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