ONS Consultation on Country and Regional Public Sector Finances

Tom Forth,

A response to the ONS' call for consultation on regional economic data.

Good afternoon,

 

I will keep my views brief,

  1. Local government, typically outside of London, has far fewer resources than central government, overwhelmingly in London, to respond to such calls for input. I hope that you will weigh responses correspondingly.
  2. I produce a number of well-used visualisation tools based on your data -- their popularity demonstrates the desire that many people have for your current datasets. In the last year I have found the formatting of your regional economic data greatly improved.
  3. Given the stated desire of both Leeds City Region and Greater Manchester to become net contributors to the treasury it would be extremely valuable to have official statistics on their current fiscal balance with the rest of the UK. Historical data for at least two decades, on whatever geographies you are able to calculate data for, would also be valuable in understanding context for any new figures.
  4. The work of the Scottish Government in extending its GERS figures to all regions of the UK is extremely welcome and shows the innovation that devolution can bring to such matters. I hope that you will be able to work with them rather than reproduce their efforts if you decide to proceed in a similar way to them.

Best,

 

Tom

 

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Thomas Forth (@thomasforth)
Founder at imactivate
Associate at ODILeeds

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