How Much Money Does Australia Spend On Military Per Year – Daniel Edwards, Australian Council for Educational Research, James Mahmud Rice, University of Melbourne, Julie McMillan, Australian Council for Educational Research
The authors do not work for, consult with, own stock in, or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
- How Much Money Does Australia Spend On Military Per Year
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- The State Of Australia’s Defence: A Quick Guide
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How Much Money Does Australia Spend On Military Per Year
Australia spent A$111.8 billion on education in 2015, the most recent year for which full data on all levels of education spending is available. According to a report released today by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), this represents an increase of almost 80% on spending in 2000.
Why Is Australia Still Investing In A Balanced Defence Force?
The federal government contributed A$47.2 billion (42%) of the total funding. State, territory and local governments spent A$39.1 billion (35%). A further A$25.5 billion (23%) came from private sources.
The ACER report is the first to capture data from all funding sources on education spending at all levels of education – from early childhood to tertiary education.
The analysis divides funding into three sources: federal government; state, territory and local governments; and private sources (the latter includes student contributions in the form of fees, as well as contributions from private businesses and non-profit organizations).
Education is financed through a number of transfers between the three sources. At various points in the funding cycle, contributions from state sources are transferred to other funding sources.
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For example, in 2015 the federal government transferred A$14 billion of its undergraduate funding to private sources, mostly in the form of student loans. It transferred a further A$17.7 billion to state, territory and local governments, which then fund schools and other areas of education.
The final breakdown of national education spending after transfers was A$15.5 billion (14%) from the federal government, A$55.4 billion (49%) from state, territory and local governments and A$40.9 billion ( 37%) from private sources.
Most of Australia’s education spending goes to three levels of education: primary schools (27%), secondary schools (28%) and tertiary education (26%).
The remaining 19% is divided between early childhood education, kindergarten, vocational certificates, diplomas and advanced degrees.
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In 2015, Australia spent A$102.4 billion on primary education and beyond. In real terms, this expenditure has increased significantly since the turn of the century, and faster than the number of students.
While spending on education increased by 79% between 2000 and 2015, the number of students in the Australian education system increased by only 22%. As a result, education expenditure per pupil (primary and above) increased by 46% during this period.
Australia’s spending on education as a share of GDP has also increased, from 5.1% in 2000 to 5.9% in 2015.
This increase was largely driven by private funding sources rather than public funding, indicating that people are increasingly willing to invest in their own (or their children’s) education.
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After transfers, the share of private expenditure on education (general and higher) increased from 26% of total education expenditure in 2000 to 34% in 2015.
It was the fastest period of private spending growth since 2012. This coincided with the introduction of a demand-driven funding system for the higher education sector (when universities did not limit the number of undergraduate students they could admit).
But we must not forget that the government spends a significant part of the initial funding (before transfers) on student loans.
Public spending on education before transfers increased by 67% in real terms between 2000 and 2015. At the same time, total government spending increased by 65%.
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Thus, state education expenditures before transfers were 1% higher in 2015 than in 2000 relative to total state expenditures. It peaked in 2010 due to global financial crisis stimulus spending and has since declined.
Australia’s government spends a relatively large proportion of its budget on education compared to other OECD countries. Overall, public spending on education is 13.5%, placing Australia ninth out of 39 countries in the OECD report.
But Australia’s total government spending on all services (including health, education, social protection, defence, public order and security) is relatively low.
ACER’s analysis is based on annual expenditure data submitted by the Australian Government’s Department of Education to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, OECD and Eurostat (UOE) joint collection of education statistics, published by the OECD as Education at a Glance.
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Education at a Glance reports provide a snapshot of Australia’s education spending relative to other OECD countries. However, the data has not yet been organized in a way that is useful for further investigation in the Australian context.
To fully understand the nuances of the data, we need greater expertise in the economics of Australian education. A greater emphasis on this would enable long-term forecasting of the policy implications of Australia’s investment in education and provide an additional objective voice at the education policy table. Of course we could spend 4% of GDP on the military – with huge cuts or taxes. tours | News loaded
Business · Analysis Sure we could spend 4% of GDP on the military – with huge cuts or tax hikes
Raising military spending to four percent of GDP would require unprecedented program cuts or massive tax increases.
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves as he inspects NATO troops at the Adaz military base in Kadaga, Latvia, on Tuesday. According to Trudeau, Canada is fulfilling its promise to raise military spending to two percent of GDP. (Roman Koksarov/The Associated Press)
US President Donald Trump is demanding that Canada and other NATO allies raise their military spending to four percent of their gross domestic product. Canada spends about 1.2 percent.
Many politicians and analysts dismissed the claim as outlandish or impossible. Canada could, of course, spend four percent of its GDP. That’s what makes it difficult.
Start with some basic math. Canada’s nominal GDP is $2.1 trillion. Four percent of that would be about $84 billion.
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Canada currently spends about $25 billion a year on national defence. The Liberals promised to raise that to $32 billion. But to reach four percent, we are talking about an increase of about 60 billion dollars in military spending compared to today’s level.
So it all comes down to priorities. There’s only so much money to go around, and a big slice of that pie goes to the social programs that most Canadians feel define us. So either cut these programs or raise taxes drastically. But something has to give.
The federal government’s biggest expense is caring for the elderly. This includes Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement. Last year, they cost $48.1 billion, or 15 cents of every tax dollar.
The Canada Health Transfer, the Canada Social Security Transfer and the government’s “other” transfers together account for about $90 billion, or nearly 30 percent of all tax dollars.
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To increase spending at all, let alone by the amount Trump is proposing, other spending must be cut, revenues must be raised, or a deficit must be run. You can pick a program and cut it, but finding $84 billion of that pie is no easy task.
“Which part of the cake do you want to cut?” – asks Stephen Gordon, professor of economics at Laval University in Quebec. “Do you want to pay more taxes? Do you want to spend less?”
Well, according to Gordon, the straightest path would require a tax increase. Raising another $55-60 billion would be a pretty hefty increase.
According to Gordon, GST revenues will be $37.7 billion in 2018-19, so each percentage point of the five percent tax is worth about $7.5 billion.
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“We’re willing to spend a lot of money on public health and a lot of money on old-age pensions. If we were willing to spend a lot of money on the military, we would,” says Gordon. “But that would be a political decision.”
And that’s the point. In many ways, the public books of any government are clearer about intent than any campaign speech or promise following an international meeting. We are what we do, not what we say. Canada spends the vast majority of its money on social safety nets.
If we wanted to spend more money on our military, we probably would have already.
Think what another $60 billion would buy us: 46,000 affordable housing units or 6,500 new water treatment plants in First Nations communities or 180 Super Hornet fighter jets. It’s all about priorities.
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By the time Trump’s two-day visit to NATO ended on Thursday, he had already declared victory and his allies were apparently keen to avoid further confrontations.
“They agreed to pay more and they agreed to pay faster,” the US president said at a press conference closing the meeting.
Some disputed Trump’s account. But most people were looking for a middle ground. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would only say that Canada will keep its promise to meet the two percent target.
“To reverse the decline in spending and increase our spending toward two percent. That’s exactly what we’re doing,” Trudeau said at a news conference.
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Trump’s demand may not have been mere politics. The American president is always looking to make a deal. On Thursday, he was ready to help NATO countries get weapons from the United States.
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