How funding has been allocated
In total, $70.4 billion was allocated to COVID-19 response and recovery initiatives, including the initial response package of $12.1 billion and $58.4 billion allocated from the CRRF before its closure in Budget 2022.
The amount allocated for each initiative was the expected fiscal impact across the forecast period at the time the decision was taken.
When a funding decision is made, the allocated funding will usually be reflected in a change to an appropriation (the mechanism through which Parliament authorises spending on a particular activity up to a specified amount). However, for each funding decision the fiscal impact will not always equal the amount by which an appropriation changed. This is outlined further below.
Total COVID-19 funding allocation by Vote
The graph below shows how that $70.4 billion was allocated across Votes (groups of appropriations for spending in a particular portfolio).
Some notes on the data:
- The figures in the graph add to $74.3b, reflecting the amounts allocated before the $4.0 billion of offsets from the November 2020 and September 2021 funding returns. The figures do not add up exactly to the $70.4 billion total allocation figure due to rounding.
- In some cases, the funding may be appropriated in a different Vote to where it was originally allocated. For example; where responsibility for an initiative shifted from one department to another, or a tagged contingency was drawn down into a different Vote than it was originally set aside for.
- Votes that received less than $1.0 billion are grouped in 'Other'.
- A significant tagged contingency included in the graph is the Infrastructure Reference Group (IRG) tagged contingency of $3.0 billion. This is represented within Vote Business, Science and Innovation (Vote BSI) in the graph, but a significant proportion of the $3.0 billion has now been appropriated to appropriations within other Votes.
Fiscal impact and appropriated amounts
The allocations outlined above represent the fiscal impact of COVID-19 funding – that is the impact on net debt of COVID-19 response and recovery decisions across the forecast period. This reflects what all the CRRF funding decisions actually ‘cost’ the government, taking into account costs that are expected to be recouped, for example through loans and tax. The forecast period is the financial year when the decision was made plus four outyears. As allocation decisions were made across three different financial years, the relevant span of years included in the forecast period used to calculate the total fiscal impact differs across initiatives.
This fiscal impact is not always the same as the amount by which appropriations change. For example:
- Where funding was provided on an ongoing basis extending beyond the forecast period, the overall appropriation amounts will exceed the total fiscal impact recorded at the time the decision was taken.
- The fiscal impact recorded may be less than the amount reflected in appropriations where spending is expected to be offset by an increase in revenue or if some of the funding will eventually be returned. Therefore, a net figure may be provided for the fiscal impact, whereas the appropriation impact is a gross figure.
- Ministers may agree to change the level of funding in an appropriation for various reasons, including transferring funding to different financial years to reflect a delay in spending, moving funding between appropriations, or reducing appropriations to support a savings initiative.
- Funding can be allocated to a tagged contingency, which means that funding is set aside for an initiative, but not immediately reflected in appropriations. Further work may be required or certain conditions met before funding is ‘appropriated’ and agencies can begin to spend it.
The Small Business Cashflow Scheme is a good example of where the fiscal impact was adjusted based on the forecasted repayments. Taxable benefits also have appropriation amounts different to the fiscal impact because a portion of the benefit is expected to be returned to the Crown as tax.
Where funding was reflected in appropriations, these were either new appropriations created specifically for that initiative (called COVID-19 specific appropriations) or existing appropriations. The table below shows both the fiscal impact of COVID-19 funding and the appropriation change across these different types of appropriations.
Overview of Net Fiscal Impact and Funding Decisions by type
|Fiscal impact of allocated COVID-19 response and recovery funding||74.4||-|
|Allocation to COVID-19 specific appropriations||45.1||54.2|
|Allocation to existing appropriations||13.6||23.7|
|Funding returned based on Treasury analysis of unused funding||(4.0)||-|
Some notes on the data:
- All figures are those recorded at the time the original decision was made or the change in appropriation amount recorded at the time the tagged contingency was drawn down (see data release below).
- The appropriated amounts cover the time period of 2019/20 to 2025/26 and outyears.
- Some of the initiatives provided tax relief to taxpayers, which results in a reduction in tax revenue rather than an increase in expenditure to the Crown, therefore no appropriation is necessary.
- Some of the tagged contingencies have lapsed or returned ($1.5 billion) or have yet to be drawn down ($0.6 billion).
- Some tagged contingency funding ($0.4 billion) has been proportionally distributed between appropriation categories. This funding is confirmed as drawn down, but specific drawdown details have not been tracked.
This table was updated on 14 June 2023 to reflect a correction made to the classification of an appropriation.
Detailed information on the funding allocated through the Government’s initial $12.1 billion and $58.4 billion allocated from the CRRF funding at the point of the original funding decision can be found here. This also contains information on where tagged contingencies larger than $100m in size were allocated.