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The Distribution of Public Expenditure across the UK Regions


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  • Iain McLean
  • Alistair McMillan
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    The distribution of UK revenue to the regional and territorial governments, administrations and authorities that spend the money is based on a hotchpotch of badly designed formulae. This is widely recognised. The Barnett formula, which allocates money to the devolved territories, has been attacked from all sides, its consequences described as ‘terribly unfair’ by its progenitor, Lord Barnett. The mechanism by which resources are distributed to local authorities within the English regions has been abandoned by the government, although its replacement has not yet been determined. This paper argues that a common basis for government spending across the regions and territories of the UK will be more equitable and efficient, and may even depoliticise the financial framework of the UK.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its journal Fiscal Studies.

    Volume (Year): 24 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 45-71

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    Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:24:y:2003:i:1:p:45-71

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    Cited by:
    1. James Gallagher & Daniel Hinze, . "Financing Options for Devolved Government in the UK," Working Papers, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow 2005_24, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    2. Vassilis Monastiriotis & Yiannis Psycharis, 2011. "Without purpose and strategy?: a spatio-functional analysis of the regional allocation of public investment in Greece," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 38377, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Edgar Morgenroth, 2007. "The Regional Dimension of Taxes and Public Expenditure in Ireland," Papers, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) WP195, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    4. repec:rdg:wpaper:em-dp2007-48 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Núria Bosch & Marta Espasa & Daniel Montolio, 2013. "Should large Spanish municipalities be financially compensated? Costs and benefits of being a capital/central municipality," Working Papers 2013/6, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).


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