This is an archived release.
Increase in central government input
Input in central government has increased in recent years, as shown by indicators for total expenditure and employed persons. The increase is mainly due to the transfer of responsibility for public hospitals and child welfare from local to central government.
Total expenditure for the central government came to almost NOK 700 billion in 2006, up 37 per cent compared to 2001. Almost 30 per cent of this expenditure was related to the central government’s own production of goods and services. This production comprises compensation of employees, use of goods and services and consumption of fixed capital. It increased substantially from 2001 to 2002, when central government took over responsibility for all public hospitals. Less than 2 per cent of the total expenditure was related to net acquisition of non-financial assets in 2006.
Transfers including interest was the largest expenditure group and accounted for almost 70 per cent of total expenditure in 2006. This group includes subsidies to market establishments, transfers to local government and the rest of the world, interest, and transfers in cash or kind to households. Payments to households mainly constitute payments from the National Insurance Scheme, for instance old age and disability pensions and sickness, unemployment, and vocational rehabilitation benefits.
Social protection dominates
Central government expenditure by function shows that social protection is the largest function in terms of expenditure. More than 40 per cent of total expenditure is allocated to social protection, which comprises transfers to individual persons or households that replace loss of earnings due to old age, disability, sickness, unemployment etc. It also includes expenditure for child welfare. Large payments from the National Insurance Scheme make up a substantial part of the expenditure for social protection.
The remaining functions with expenditure shares exceeding 15 per cent are general public services and health. General public services include transfers to local government, while health consists of expenditure in connection with public hospitals. If we only look at the central government’s own production, health is the dominating function.
Sharp increase in employment
263 100 persons were employed in the central government sector in 2006. This constitutes about 11 per cent of total employment in Norway. In 2001, the number of employed persons was 155 500. The increase is mainly due to the transfer of public hospitals and 100 000 employees to central government in 2002.
Expenditure by ministry
Central government expenditure by ministry (excluding the National Insurance Scheme) shows that the Ministry of Health and Care Services has the highest expenditures, amounting to NOK 90.6 billion in 2006. The Ministry of Education and Research and the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development are the two other ministries with expenditure exceeding NOK 60 billion. In comparison, the National Insurance Scheme's total expenditure was NOK 236.8 billion in 2006.
In the table which shows expenditure by ministry, all units in the central government sector are classified under the ministry to which they are responsible. Transfers between central government units are not included. This means that transfers from the Ministry of Education and Research to the universities are not included. On the other hand, the universities' own expenditures are included under the Ministry of Education and Research.
The structure and responsibilities of the individual ministries are not stable over time. The figures must therefore be used with caution.