Key facts and statistics

EC Interest Rate Subsidy key facts and statistics

Background

The EC Interest Rate Subsidy provided business support to eligible farmers in areas declared to be experiencing a rare and severe, one in 20 to 25 year drought.

Interest rate subsidy grants were provided at 50 per cent of the interest payable on new and existing loans for the first year of an EC declaration and at 80 per cent in the second and subsequent years, up to a maximum of $100 000 in any 12-month period and $500 000 over five years.

Payments were delivered by the states and territories under an intergovernmental agreement. The states contributed 10 per cent and the Commonwealth contributed 90 per cent of the funding delivered to farmers. In addition, the Australian Government paid the states and territories $750 for each application processed under the program.

Uptake and expenditure

From 1 July 2001 to 31 December 2011, the Australian Government provided over $2.6 billion of assistance under the EC Interest Rate Subsidy to 28 376 drought affected farmers and small businesses (see Tables 1 & 2). Australian Bureau of Statistics 2005–06 Agricultural Census data indicates that there are 154 680 agricultural establishments in Australia.1

An additional sum of approximately $300 million was contributed specifically to EC Interest Rate Subsidy payments, for the same period, collectively by the states and territories as their contribution under agreed Commonwealth and state cost-sharing arrangements.

From 1 July 2001 to 31 December 2011 for the EC Interest Rate Subsidy:

  • the average annual payment (including the 10% state contribution) was $32 172
  • approximately a third (9642) of recipients cumulatively received more than $100 000
  • around 1047 recipients cumulatively received more than $400 000.
Table 1 – EC Interest Rate Subsidy expenditure

Expenditure ($millions)

NSW

NT/TAS^

QLD

SA

VIC

WA

Australia wide

Australian Government contribution

$1435.1

$12.5

$431.7

$192.4

$496.1

$57.0

$2624.8

State contribution*

$159.5

$1.4

$48.0

$21.4

$55.1

$6.3

$291.7

Total expenditure

$1594.6

$13.9

$479.7

$213.8

$551.2

$63.3

$2916.5

 

Table 2 – EC Interest Rate Subsidy recipients

Recipients

NSW

NT/TAS^

QLD

SA

VIC

WA

Australia wide

Total recipients

12 345

179

5 484

2 481

7 006

881

28 376

^Northern Territory and Tasmania data combined for privacy reasons
*The state contribution is calculated on 10% of the total expenditure


1 Australian Bureau of Statistics, 7125.0 – Agricultural Commodities: Small Area Data, Australia, 2005-06
Source: DAFF and the state and territory rural assistance authorities