Northern Ireland had the highest public spending in the UK in 2016

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Northern Ireland had the highest public spending per head of any region of the UK in 2016.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has issued new experimental data.

They estimate what spending occurred in each country or region of the UK, and what revenues were raised in each of those countries or regions.

Spending per head in Northern Ireland was £14,020 while the lowest expenditure was in the South East of England at £10,580 per person.

The statistcs suggest that Northern Ireland also had the biggest per-person deficit - the gap between what is raised in revenues and what is spent.

Revenues were estimated at £8,580 per person, giving a deficit of £5,440 per person.

The lowest per-person revenue was in Wales at approximately £7,980 per person followed by the North East of England at £8,200 per person.

The only areas to run per-person surpluses were London, the South East of England and the East of England.

London had the highest net fiscal surplus per person at £3,070.

This is the first time the ONS has published these statistics and is still refining the methodology.

It points out that certain assumptions have to be made because taxes are generally not levied, or collected on a regional basis and most spending is planned to benefit a category of individuals and enterprises irrespective of location.

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