The unlegislated measures publication provides estimates of the medium term impact on the Commonwealth budget of measures with significant financial implications that have been announced but are yet to be implemented, where enabling legislation has not passed Parliament after a year or where the announced start date has passed.
Since the 2019 publication, we have focused on significant unlegislated measures, defined as measures that would have increased or decreased the underlying cash balance by at least $100 million in any year of the forward estimates period when they were announced.
The updated estimates for the unlegislated measures publication use the government's most recent budget baseline and take into account: changes to data and economic parameters since the measures were published; interactions with other Government policy decisions included in the most recent baseline; and changes in implementation timing due to legislative delays, where relevant.
An 'unlegislated measure' is a policy that has been announced by the Government and included in its latest budget or mid-year update, but is not yet legislated by the Parliament. The costs of, or savings from, the measure that have been allowed for in the budget cannot be realised until the legislation is passed.
For example, suppose that in the budget the Government proposes saving money by restricting access to a legislated spending program. This budget proposal is an 'unlegislated measure' if Parliament needs to change the law to realise the savings. The savings from this measure are included in the budget but if the Government cannot get the legislation passed, they would not be realised and the budget estimates would need to be adjusted accordingly.
Not all budget measures require legislation. The measures that do are of interest because they can have large effects on the budget that depend on the parliamentary process.
Publishing regular information about measures that could increase or decrease the budget by a significant amount is consistent with the PBO's role of enhancing public understanding of the budget. Publishing information about large unlegislated measures improves public understanding of risks to the budget that arise from measures that are held up in the Parliament.
No. The PBO's publication focuses on unlegislated policies (often referred to as 'measures') with significant financial implications. Assessment of measures for inclusion in the report is based on information provided by the Department of Finance.
Specifically, the unlegislated measures reports from 2019 onwards include any unlegislated measure that would have:
- increased or decreased the underlying cash balance by at least $100 million in any year of the forward estimates period when it was announced, and
- appeared in a budget or mid-year update more than one year ago, or within the past year but with a start date that has now passed.
The PBO has published estimates of the budget impact of unlegislated measures since May 2015. From 2019, the PBO will generally publish updates in the first quarter of each calendar year, with a possible second publication in the third quarter if there are significant changes since the previous publication. For 2022, the PBO will seek to publish an update of the unlegislated measures report after the 2022-23 Budget, following the provision of updated information from the Department of Finance.
The PBO estimates the budget impact of unlegislated measures at the time it publishes each update. These updates use the latest data, models and economic forecasts, and account for interactions with policy settings in the most recent baseline.
Unlegislated measures carried forward in the budget estimates - August 2021
Date issued: 4 August 2021
Unlegislated measures carried forward in the budget estimates - April 2020
Date issued: 24 April 2020
Unlegislated measures carried forward in the budget estimates - March 2019
Date issued: 21 March 2019
Unlegislated measures carried forward in the budget estimates - February 2017 update
Date issued: 7 February 2017
Unlegislated measures carried forward in the budget estimates - June 2016 update
Date issued: 9 June 2016
Unlegislated measures carried forward in the budget estimates - February 2016 update
Date issued: 3 February 2016
Unlegislated measures carried forward in the budget estimates - September 2015 update
Date issued: 8 September 2015
Unlegislated measures carried forward from the 2014-15 budget
Date issued: 29 May 2015