NI has UK's highest public spending per person

By John Campbell
BBC News NI Economics & Business Editor

Image source, Reuters

Northern Ireland continued to have the highest public spending per person of any region of the UK in 2017.

The conclusion comes from Office for National Statistics (ONS) experimental data.

The ONS estimated what spending occurred in each country or region of the UK and what revenues were raised.

The spending refers to public spending in Northern Ireland and also Northern Ireland's share of pan-UK spending on areas like defence.

Spending per person in Northern Ireland was £13,954, while the lowest expenditure was in the east of England at £10,649 per person.

Biggest deficit

The statistics 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 £8,940 per person, giving a deficit of £5,014 per person.

The next largest deficit was in Wales at £4,251 per person.

The lowest per person revenue was in Wales at approximately £8,317 while the highest was London at £16,544 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 £3,698.

Between 2011 and 2017, all countries and regions, including Northern Ireland, saw an improvement in their net fiscal balance.