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Data has been drawn from a national indicator or dataset and is an approximation of the UN SDG Indicator. We intend to continue to report using this dataset.

Unlike most other countries in the OECD, the social security payment system is funded through government revenue; it is not based on past contributions and is not capped or time limited.  In addition, Australia has Medicare, a publicly funded universal health system, which includes subsidised medication under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.  The Government also provides significant investment in education, supporting government and non-government schools, as well as higher education and vocational education and training (Budget 2018-19, Statement 6: Expenses and Net Capital Investment).

Analysis by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW, 2015-16 data) shows expenditure by Australian and state and territory governments on welfare was $157.2 billion, up from $116.8 billion in 2006-07 constant prices.  Overall, for the period from 2006-07 to 2015-16 welfare expenditure grew more quickly than the overall economy over the same period.  This figure includes $105.1 billion in cash payments for specific populations (not including unemployment benefits), $42.2 billion in welfare services and $9.9 billion in unemployment benefits (AIHW, Australia’s Welfare 2017, p.27).