Sub-national PSF Consultation

Closed 25 Sep 2017

Opened 3 Jul 2017

Feedback updated 12 Dec 2017

We asked

We sought information, opinions and suggestions in relation to two broad themes:

  • the Country and regional public sector finances bulletin first published in May 2017, containing data at the NUTS1 geographical level.
  • the possible future publication of public finance data for local areas below the NUTS1 level, and the issues identified in producing such local area statistics, as described in the sub-regional public sector finances scoping study published alongside the consultation, in July 2017.

We wanted to be sure that the new Country and regional public sector finances publication was welcomed by users and investigate in what ways ONS could develop these statistics to meet the needs of users for local area public finance statistics.

You said

We received 18 responses from three private individuals, and 15 on behalf of organisations with either a national, country/regional, or sub-regional purvey and perspective,

Feedback on the Country and regional public sector finances bulletin was overall very positive, and respondents provided many examples of how they had made use of the NUTS1 level estimates provided in the bulletin. Some suggestions for possible improvement were offered, including the inclusion of workplace-based estimates alongside the current residence-based estimates.

The sub-regional scoping study was quite well received. Opinions were divided as to:

  • how useful estimates of net fiscal balance would be at various sub-regional geographies
  • the role that ONS might play in the production of public finance estimates for smaller geographies (i.e. below NUTS1 level).

We did

As a result of his consultation we will take the following actions:

  • continue publication of the Country and regional public sector finances bulletin.
  • seek to further develop the content and presentation of the bulletin in the light of comments provided by respondents.
  • continue to publish estimates of revenue and net fiscal balance derived on two bases, with revenues from North Sea activities estimated a) on a population basis, and b) on a geographic basis.
  • undertake exploratory work on producing workplace-based estimates for certain tax revenues.

Given resource constraints and concerns over the robustness of such estimates, we do not intend to directly engage in the production of net fiscal balances for sub-regional geographies at this stage. However, we intend:

  • to offer support and advice on methodologies and data sources to organisations and areas wishing to produce their own estimates.

Results updated 12 Dec 2017



This consultation aims to gather user views on public sector finance statistics at local area geographies, whether that be country, region, local authority or other sub-UK geography.

The first part of the consultation focuses on feedback on the Country and regional public sector finances (CRPSF) bulletin published as experimental statistics on 23 May 2017 and issues around public sector finance statistics at a regional and country level (i.e. at NUTS1 level). The decision to produce the bulletin was made by ONS following a public consultation in February 2016. Responses to that consultation suggested that there was significant interest from users in public sector revenue, expenditure and net fiscal balance  data at the country/regional level.  Several questions in this consultation elicit views on how useful the bulletin, published on 23 May 2017, is and how it might be improved.

Some respondents to the 2016 consultation also expressed an interest in public sector finance data for geographies below country and regional level. ONS decided, therefore, to produce a scoping study detailing data sources available at sub-NUTS1 level and work that has been done by other organisations, to produce estimates of public sector expenditure and revenue, and in some instances net fiscal balances, for lower level geographies. The sub-regional public sector finances scoping study was published on 3 July 2017. This consultation includes several questions concerning the scoping study and sub-NUTS1 estimates, responses to which will help to inform decisions about what role, if any, ONS might most usefully undertake in the production of such estimates.

Questions posed in the earlier parts of this consultation refer primarily to the recently published CRPSF bulletin and data. Later questions are generally focused more on the sub-regional scoping study and estimates for lower level geographies. Several questions deal with issues that are relevant both to the bulletin and the scoping study. We hope that you will respond to all the questions, but if you prefer to only respond to questions that are of particular interest to you, please feel free to do so. However, if you decide not to answer all of the questions you may not receive an acknowledgement that your responses have been received.

In the final section of the consultation you will be asked to provide: your name; your email address; and the organisation (if any) that you represent.  Whilst we hope that you will provide them, you may omit these if that is your preference and you do not wish your submission to be acknowledged.

What happens next

All responses will be carefully considered. A summary of these will be published by ONS, together with details of how ONS intends to address issues raised within 12 weeks from the end date of the consultation.


  • Analysts
  • Academics
  • Businesses
  • Economists
  • Government
  • Local government
  • Researchers
  • Statisticians
  • Think tanks


  • Economy
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  • Formal consultations