Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance

Funding devolved government across the UK


The move to devolve further powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland raises questions in terms of the allocation of funding. This CIPFA Briefing considers how effective the Barnett formula will be in the long term.








Of the four nations in the UK, only three have formal devolved government. Yet, the current public service funding mechanism is linked directly to the levels of expenditure in the one nation which does not have devolved government. 

In this CIPFA Briefing we look at the long-term future of the Barnett formula. We recognise the attraction of retaining Barnett in the short term, but at some point in the future equitable resource allocation will require a transparent needs-based funding system covering all regions of the UK, operated under the supervision of an independent commission of experts, designed to handle the tax decisions made by the governments within the UK.