Country and regional public sector finances: financial year ending 2020, Debt interest allocations!

Mary Jones made this Freedom of Information request to Office for National Statistics

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Dear Office for National Statistics,

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.

Debt charged per head
UK £818
England £808
Wales £856
Scotland £933
Northern Ireland £746

Can you confirm your figures are 100% correct?
Source for above:

Tables S10 & S12
https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/governmen...

Yours faithfully,

Mary Jones

Dear Office for National Statistics,

I note this publication had been delayed from Dec 2020!

After spending a few minutes looking over this publication from Office for National Statistics!

Errors centre around expenditure allocations of the following 3:
Expenditure:
1
International services = £188 per head (not £177)
2
Public sector debt = £845 per head (not £808 for England, £933 for Scotland, £856 for Wales, £746 N Ireland)
3
Defence = £652 per head (not £631)
4
Revenue:
Wales has 2 x Digital services tax (rows 41 & 44)?

The current publication is not fit for purpose - when is it intended to correct ALL tables & republish?

Yours faithfully,

Mary Jones

system@share.ons.gov.uk,

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FOI Team, Office for National Statistics

Our Reference: FOI/2021/2387

 

Dear Mary

 

Thank you for your email requesting data pertaining to Clarification on 
ONS Country and regional public sector finances supplementary tables
publication.

 

I am writing to confirm that the Office for National Statistics has now
completed its search for the information which you requested and the
response can be found here:

[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/aboutus/transpare...

 

You have the right to have this response to your Freedom of Information
request reviewed internally by an internal review process and, if you
remain unhappy with the decision, by the Information Commissioner. If you
would like to have the decision reviewed please email the Freedom of
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5RR, and mark your correspondence "Internal Review".

If you have any queries about this email, please contact the Freedom of
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FOI Team, Office for National Statistics

Our Reference: FOI/2021/2388

 

Dear Mary

 

Thank you for your email requesting data pertaining to errors centre
around expenditure allocations.

 

I am writing to confirm that the Office for National Statistics has now
completed its search for the information which you requested and the
response can be found here:

You Asked:

FOI/2021/2388

There are errors around expenditure allocations under expenditure for:

1. International services ( £188 per head (not £177)

2 Public sector debt = £845 per head (not £808 for England, £933 for
Scotland, £856 for Wales, £746 N Ireland)

3 Defence = £652 per head (not £631)

4 Revenue: Wales has 2 x Digital services tax (rows 41 & 44)?

 

We Said:

Thank you for your request.

Our main data source for expenditure is HM Treasury's publication called
Country and regional analysis (CRA): [1]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: [2]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: [3]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: [4]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: [5]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: [6]expenditure tables.
A link to our supplementary tables dataset is provided: [7]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: [8]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 [9][email address]. 

 

You have the right to have this response to your Freedom of Information
request reviewed internally by an internal review process and, if you
remain unhappy with the decision, by the Information Commissioner. If you
would like to have the decision reviewed please email the Freedom of
Information Team at ‘[ONS request email]’ or write to The FoI Team, Room
1100, Office for National Statistics, Segensworth Road, Titchfield PO15
5RR, and mark your correspondence "Internal Review".

If you have any queries about this email, please contact the Freedom of
Information Team ('[ONS request email]').

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

 

The Freedom of Information Team

Office for National Statistics

 

For information on Coronavirus, please visit [10]ONS.gov.uk/coronavirus

 

References

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1. https://www.gov.uk/government/collection...
2. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics...
3. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationa...
4. http://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/government...
5. https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/governmen...
6. https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/governmen...
7. https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/governmen...
8. https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/governmen...
9. mailto:[email address]
10. http://ons.gov.uk/coronavirus