Australia's Future Tax System

Architecture of Australia's tax and transfer system

2.9 State transfers

State transfers are provided in the form of public housing schemes that assist low income people with affordable accommodation, publicly funded services for people in need, and a range of concessions to eligible Australians. Eligibility for state concessions often relies on meeting Australian government eligibility tests for the Pensioner Concession Card and the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. As such, there is an important connection to the Australian government transfer system.

The States do not have a system of general income support but provide transfers to individuals in a number of ways (see Tables 2.27 to 2.34), including:

  • through services directed to assist low income people — for example, public housing schemes to provide affordable accommodation;
  • subsidised services, such as electricity, water and public transport; and
  • tax concessions, such as motor vehicle registration concessions and stamp duty concessions to eligible first home owners (see also Section 2.6).

All States provide transfers to first home buyers through the First Home Owners Scheme.