CIPFA issues first-ever Welsh public sector balance sheet

26 Nov 15

CIPFA has published the first-ever financial position of the devolved public sector in Wales.

The CIPFA Wales Balance Sheet, launched at the CIPFA Wales annual conference in Cardiff today, estimates that Wales currently owns or controls £42bn in assets and £23.6bn in liabilities.

Assets include the £15bn of “network” assets such as roads, £15bn of council-held assets and £2bn in student loan debts.

Short-term investments, inventories, available cash or cash equivalents add up to £3.5bn.

Liabilities are chiefly made up of public service pensions, accounting for £14bn and include police, council and fire service pensions. Pensions for civil servants, NHS staff and teachers in Wales are reported at the UK level.

CIPFA chief executive Rob Whiteman said: “We’re delighted to launch the first Balance Sheet for Wales – it represents an important step forward in encouraging greater financial transparency, accountability and reporting across the devolved public sector in Wales.

“This is all the more important given the significant changes that are happening in the Welsh public sector and the greater financial freedoms and powers that the Welsh Government is working to secure.”

Whiteman encouraged politicians, policymakers and public sector professionals to use the balance sheet to get “as clear a picture of possible of their national finances”.

In his Autumn Statement and Spending Review yesterday, chancellor George Osborne announced a guaranteed funding floor for Wales set at 115% of English spending for the duration of this Parliament.

Last month CIPFA published the first balance sheet for Norther Ireland’s public sector.

  • Vivienne Russell

    Vivienne Russell is managing editor of Public Finance magazine and publicfinance.co.uk

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