Balance sheet for Northern Ireland's public sector

Briefing-Paper-Balance-Sheet

Summary

Northern Ireland’s public finances have been the subject of public debate and scrutiny and should reflect the priorities of the people of Northern Ireland. In this briefing CIPFA sets out for the first time what the scale of the devolved assets and liabilities in Northern Ireland are.

Format

PDF

Published

Oct 2015

Author

CIPFA

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Northern Ireland’s public finances have been the subject of recent public debate and scrutiny. The wider background is the continuing effort of the UK government to reduce the UK deficit. In this context it is important that the Northern Ireland devolved public sector reflects and acts on the priorities of the people of Northern Ireland. 

The public sector in Northern Ireland is not required to publicly report its overall financial position. So what is the financial position of the devolved public sector in Northern Ireland and what challenges do Northern Ireland’s public services face going forward? CIPFA considers that the overall financial position of the Northern Ireland devolved public sector should be clearly reported to the people of Northern Ireland. At the heart of this would be a balance sheet, as part of consolidated accounts for Northern Ireland, which demonstrates the assets and liabilities of Northern Ireland. 
  

To provide a stimulus for this debate CIPFA has considered what the Northern Ireland balance sheet would look like and this briefing paper sets out for the first time what the scale of the devolved assets and liabilities in Northern Ireland are. Consequently, our challenge to politicians, policy makers and to public service professionals is to engage in the debate to improve transparency in financial reporting in Northern Ireland.