Opening date: 15 February 2016
Closing date: 11 April 2016
Department: Office for National Statistics
Category: Economy


Statistics on public finances, such as public sector revenue, expenditure and debt are used by the government, media and wider user community to monitor progress against fiscal policy targets. As a result of increasing devolution, demand for these statistics at the sub-UK level has increased. We ran a consultation, from 16 February 2016 to 11 April 2016, on user interest in Country and Regional (Sub-UK) Public Sector Finance statistics. The purpose of this consultation was to gather and assess the user demands for an annual publication on country and regional public sector finance statistics. 

We asked 

Should we produce Public Sector Finance statistics at country and regional (Sub-UK) level?

You said

  • There was wide support for us to produce country and regional public sector finance statistics. The statistics were wanted by users to aid the devolution debate and provide additional data for local policy analysis.
  • Most of you supported the ‘who pay’ and ‘who benefits’ approaches for apportioning revenue and expenditure, to each country and region.
  • Having data at geographies smaller than NUTS1 would be of benefit to a number of respondents.
  • We should be clear on what can and cannot be done with such data as well as providing transparency on the data sources and methods used, so as to allow users to make informed judgments on how they use these data.

What we will do

  • We will take forward plans to produce an annual Country and Regional Public Sector Finances publication, with the aim of publishing the first bulletin in 2017. The Country and Regional Public Sector Finances will be produced on an annual basis for financial year data only.

  • We expect to use the ‘who benefits’ and ‘who pays’ principles; the ‘for’ approach would generally be used.

  • We will investigate which expenditure and revenue items can be produced to support the needs for data below the NUTS1 level.

  • We will work with devolved administrations, key central government departments and users to agree the data sources and apportionment methodology that will be most appropriate to use.