23 November 2013

The Treasury has recently published the outturn figures for public spending in the countries and regions of Britain for 2012/13. You can see them here.

Table A2 shows this breakdown: public expenditure in 2012/13 by per head of population and as a comparative index of UK spending
UK £8788, 100
N Ireland £10 876, 124
Scotland £10 152, 116
Wales £9709, 110
England £8529, 97

For the South West region of England, which includes Cornwall, the figures are £8219, 94. There are no figures currently available or possible for areas below the regional such as local authorities.

Barnett formula
When UK public spending increases, the Barnett Formula gives the three devolved countries (Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) increases proportionate to their share of the UK population. This has resulted in the devolved countries having a larger perhead spending for public services than England and the South West of England.

The unfairness of this mechanistic formula to people in England is increasingly cried out. The Local government association of England (LGA) has said that councils in England lose around £4 billion a year through the present allocation arrangements: pro rata by population that is about £40 million lost by Cornwall.

MK: sssh, don’t mention the formula and England
Note, however, that the Cornish nationalist party, Mebyon Kernow (MK), while crying up its view that Cornwall is shortchanged by the UK government – what it englishes as London or Westminster – does not discuss the present allocation arrangement throughout the UK and the apparent overpayments to the Celtic fringe; these are still the silenda and tacenda of MK and Cornish nationalism as I pointed out back in 2009 when I said political nationalism complained about the redistribution of public funds within England but

never seem(s) to ask about the larger redistribution among the four countries of Britain. Why is that? It is time that Cornish nationalism faced the formula.

I shall return to this in a post on MK’s inadequate ideas about devolved funding for Cornwall.

Previous posts about devolution and funding
English and Cornish devolution 6 September 2011 (with links to other posts)
London subsidises our bills 16 February 2012