CIPFA publishes first Northern Ireland balance sheet

8 Oct 15

CIPFA has today published the first ever balance sheet for the Northern Ireland public sector, revealing the province has £51.8bn of assets and owes £51.3bn in liabilities.

The analysis, compiled using the financial statements of devolved public sector bodies, found that roads and other networks made up a majority of the assets and were worth £28.6bn

Public service pensions make up the majority of the liabilities sheet, accounting for £43.6bn.

The institute said that the snapshot would help policymakers in the Northern Ireland develop a more robust and sustainable financial strategy.

The public sector in Northern Ireland was not required to publicly report its overall financial position. However, in the face of the current financial crisis in the country, which saw the Treasury make an emergency funding allocation to the executive last year, CIPFA hopes the balance sheet would encourage greater transparency and accountability.

Chief executive Rob Whiteman said a balance sheet was hugely valuable to any enterprise in providing a picture of what is owned and what is owed.

“Within government it is a crucial tool for managing public services and for achieving fiscal sustainability,” he added.

“We hope that the release of our Balance Sheet for Northern Ireland will help stimulate debate among politicians, policymakers, and public service professionals and encourage them to budget more effectively for the medium term as well as improve the transparency in financial reporting.”

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