You asked

Has debt allocation changed? I thought the idea was no matter how much deficit Wales, Scotland, & N Ireland incurred - they only get allocated the same per head debt charges as England?

N Ireland looks very wrong constantly 100% higher deficit than England - yet allocated much less debt.

Can you confirm that figures from Tables S10 & S12 of your Country and regional public sector finances supplementary tables publication are 100% correct?

We said

Thank you for your enquiry.

Our main data source for expenditure is HM Treasury's publication called Country and regional analysis (CRA): Country and regional analysis. This publication provides public sector country and regional expenditure data based on the "who benefits" concept. These data are adapted and constrained to ensure consistency with the UK public sector finances.

The total expenditures on international services and on defence are consistent with the data in the HM Treasury publication for Country and regional analysis in 2020: Country and regional analysis: 2020. This dataset was published in November 2020, the amounts for the financial year 2019/20 being £11,798 million and £42,174 million, respectively (these can be found in tables A.5b and A.5c of the CRA).

The population estimates used to derive per-head figures are taken from the ONS publication called ONS mid-year population estimates: ONS mid-year population estimates. The data we used were published in June 2020. Dividing the expenditure amounts by the population estimate of 66,796,807 we arrive at £177 per head for expenditure on international services, and £631 per head for expenditure on defence.

Regarding public sector debt interest, the UK data in the Country and regional PSF publication are consistent with the February 2021 edition of the ONS Public sector finances for the UK: Public sector finances, UK: February 2021. In contrast, the figures in the CRA publication are consistent with the September 2020 edition of the ONS Public sector finances for the UK: Public sector finances, UK: September 2020. Public sector debt interest for the UK is £54,664 million in 2019/20 and is equivalent to £818 per head using the population estimates above. When allocating to regions, we use population to apportion debt interest to ITL1 (International Territorial Levels -- Level 1) regions, except for interest paid by public sector pension funds for which we use expenditure data available from local government pension schemes in the different countries. For this reason, the amounts per head are not equal between the countries. These can be calculated by dividing public sector debt interest shown in the expenditure tables dataset by the population estimates for each country found in Table S12 of the supplementary tables dataset. A link to our expenditure tables dataset is provided: expenditure tables. A link to our supplementary tables dataset is provided: supplementary tables.

The country and regional public sector finances are described as experimental statistics which means that they are within their development phase. You can find further information on the data and methods used to attribute revenue and expenditure to countries and regions in our Country and Regional Public Sector Finances methodology guide: Country and Regional Public Sector Finances methodology guide.

Thank you for bringing to our attention the duplication of digital services tax in our revenue tables for Wales. This has now been corrected.

If you do have any further queries, please contact us using our email address