Social Protection expenditure

0. Registration entry for subjects

0.1 Name

Social Protection expenditure

0.2 Subject area

Health and social affairs

0.3 Responsible authority; office, division, person etc.

Kristinn Karlsson
Statistics Iceland
Tel: +354 528 1060
Fax: +354 528 1199

0.4 Purpose and history

The purpose of the statistics for social protection expenditure is to analyse the development of social expenditure, store them and disseminate nationally and internationally. One of the purposes is to provide data to the European Union and the Nordic organisation NOSOSCO.
Social expenditure statistics were originally established in the 1940s to meet the needs of the Nordic Ministers of Social Affairs in analysing the development in social expenditure and recipients of social benefits. This led to a collaboration between the Nordic countries regarding comparative Nordic social statistics, which were published in the publication Social Security (Social Tryghed),published annually. Social Tryghed is also available in English as Social Protection in the Nordic Countries and contains tables for recipients of social benefits, social expenditure for these benefits, information about legislation in the Nordic countries and various annexes, which illustrate various aspects of Nordic social statistics.
From the year 1995 NOSOSKO made some minor changes in its statistics to coordinate it fully with a new classification (ESSPROS MANUAL 1996) in a parallel system used by Eurostat. In accordance with a request from Eurostat the statistics of the Nordic countries from the period 1991 to 1994 have been revised according to the new ESSPROS classification.

0.5 Users and application

Users are national institutions and associations, individuals and media. The information should be useful in policy planning and for individuals in their studies and work as well as for public debate.
NOSOSCO: Disaggregated figures on expenditure, receipts and beneficiaries are provided for the publication Social Protection in the Nordic Countries (Social Tryghed), which is published annually.
EUROSTAT: Disaggregated figures on expenditures distributed by functions (Old age, sickness, etc.) and their financing are sent to Eurostat which uses the information for yearly publications Social Protection expenditure and receipts and for the database CRONOS.
OECD: Data sets/tables directly from Eurostat.

0.6 Sources

Statistics Iceland extracts data from Government and Municipal Finances and from The State Social Security Institute accounts. Information is also sought in various reports regarding the labour market.

0.7 Legal basis for official statistics

Act No. 24/1913 on Statistics Iceland.

0.8 Response burden

There is no response burden as the data is collected via expenditure registers from the municipalities and the state, supplemented with annual reports from various labour market organisations.

0.9 EEA and EU obligations

EEA agreement. Since 1995 the statistics have been in accordance with Eurostats ESSPROS classification and data delivered annually to Eurostat.

1. Contents

1.1 Description of content

Social protection statistics starting point is the public accounts for central and local government and the yearly reports from various labour market organisations (The Unemployment Insurance Fund, The Wage Guarantee Fund, The Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority (Annual Accounts of Occupational compulsory pension funds)). Social protection statistics are classified in accordance with ESSPROS 1996.
The general principles of ESSPROS are the following: "Social protection encompasses all interventions from public or private bodies intended to relieve households and individuals of the burden of defined set of risks or needs, provide that there is neither a simultaneous reciprocal nor an individual arrangement involved." Risk or needs are defined in functions or primary purposes, according to type of intervention and financing.
The functions of social protection:
I Family/children
II Unemployment
III Sickness/Health care
IV Old age
V Disability
VI Survivors
VII Housing
VIIIOther social benefits

Types of benefits:
a. Cash benefits
b. Benefits in kind

1. Central government
2. Local government
3. Employers
4. The protected person
5. Other financing (property income)

A more detailed overview of functions:
Families and children: Benefits in connection with maternity, birth and adoption, family allowance, advance payments of child maintenance (net figure, refunds by parents are not included), day and residential institutions for children and young people, other assistance for children and young people, temporary home help to others than pensioners and handicapped.
Unemployment: Unemployment insurance, unemployment register, employment agencies, job-creation schemes.
Sickness/Health care: Wage and salaries during sickness, per-diem sickness benefits and short term occupational injury insurance, hospital and health services, preventive public health service, refunded dental services.
Old age: Old-age pension: Social security scheme (basic pension) and compulsory private pension funds (employment pension), retirement homes and nursing homes for the elderly, day institutions and other welfare work.
Disability: Disability pension: Social security scheme (basic pension) and compulsory private pension funds (employment pension), long term occupational injury insurance, residential homes and flats for the disabled, assistance for the care of disabled, rehabilitation and employment for the disabled, home help to disabled; support for help articles to the disabled.
Survivors: Widows/widowers benefits, death grants, employment pensions for survivors.
Housing: Social housing, other rent benefits.
Other social benefits: Municipal social assistance, help to refugees and immigrants; the Wage Guarantee Fund, alcohol and drug rehabilitation, counselling and other municipal social services.

1.2 Statistical concepts

Basic figures and sums for each year.
Figures in current prices and at fixed prices of 1981.
Expenditure total.
Expenditure per capita.

2. Time

2.1 Reference periods

Reference period is the calendar year.

2.2 Process time

Data is processed in the first half of the second year after each reference year, when all data information sought from is ready/has been published. Dissemination of data to NOSOSKO and Eurostat takes place in June. Process time for data for the Statistical Yearbook, Statistics Iceland website and Statistical Series is late summer and autumn.

2.3 Punctuality

2.4 Frequency of releases

Annual figures published in The Statistical Yearbook, the Statistics Iceland website and Statistical Series.

3. Reliability and security

3.1 Accuracy and reliability

The overall reliability is considered high, as the primary data are from registers of central government and municipal finance, and other public accounts. However, in few cases it is necessary to use additional information, e.g. the number of recipients of cash benefits or benefits in kind or use estimates, to aggregate expenditure where itemization in the accounts is not sufficient.

3.2 Sources of errors

Complete coverage in accordance with the ESSPROS classification. As most data come from final accounts sources of errors are small.

3.3 Measures on confidence limits/accuracy

4. Comparison

4.1 Comparison between periods

Available are annual expenditure data from the year 1981. However, there is a data break in the series from the year 1991. The differences in the figures are, however, only on the level of function which is due to a new ESSPROS classification as of 1996. Totals for expenditure are comparable over time. The main changes made in the data after 1990 are: 1) Old age and disability was divided into two functions. 2) Expenditure to state-guaranteed wages in insolvencies was moved from the function Unemployment to Other social benefits. 2) A new function, Housing, was established. Expenditure to Housing was before recorded in the function Other social benefits. Finally, from the year 1991 onwards an account was taken of capital income in financing of funds.

4.2 Comparison with other statistics

Since the statistics on public social expenditure are extracted from the public accounts data, comparability with the national accounts data on public social expenditure is high.
There is good data comparability with the other Nordic countries. This appears from NOSOSCO's publication Social Protection in the Nordic countries.
The statistics on social benefits are classified by EUs ESSPROS 1996, which is also the base for comparability with other EU-countries. Eurostats publication European social statistics. Social protection, Expenditure and receipts contains comparable figures for EU-countries, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.

4.3 Coherence between preliminary and final statistics

No preliminary statistics are produced.

5. Access to information

5.1 Forms of dissemination

News, released on Statistics Iceland website
Statistics, categorised statistical web tables
Statistical Series, Hagtíðindi
Statistical Yearbook of Iceland, Landshagir
Statistics Iceland disseminates statistics annually to NOSOSKO for Social Protection in the Nordic countries and Eurostat.

5.2 Basic data; storage and usability

Basic data files from the year 1991 are available. Aggregated data from the years before 1991 are not available.

5.3 Reports

Social and Health Statistics 1991-2000; Social Protection in the Nordic countries published annually by NOOSOKO; Social protection, Expenditure and receipts, published annually by Eurostat.

5.4 Other information

© Hagstofa �slands, �ann 9-2-2007