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The Government's Expenditure Plan for 2017-18.pdf
The Government’s Expenditure Plan and Main Estimates for 2017-18 outline $257.9 billion in total budgetary spending authorities, which represents an increase of approximately $7.8 billion (+3.1 percent) in comparison to the total budgetary authorities outlined in the Main Estimates 2016-17, and an increase of $751 million when compared to Estimates to date in 2016–17. Of this amount, $102.1 billion relates to authorities to be voted by Parliament.
Ensuring accountability for federal spending and monitoring the implementation of the Government’s fiscal plan involve following federal spending from announcement in the Budget, to parliamentary approval through the Estimates, and actual spending as reported in the Public Accounts. However, the way the Government presents its financial information poses a number of challenges in this regard:
- the Main Estimates are prepared prior to the Budget and do not include items announced in the same year’s Budget;
- departments do not clearly and consistently identify budget spending in the Main Estimates;
- votes in the Main Estimates are based on the type of expenditure, while the Budget describes the purpose of funding; and
- the Budget and the Main Estimates are prepared using different accounting bases and have differing scopes.
The largest element of the Government’s fiscal plan is the second year of its infrastructure program. While the Government earmarked $8.0 billion in new spending for infrastructure in 2017–18, the PBO is only able to identify approximately $5.5 billion of additional investment in the Main Estimates 2017–18.