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Northern Ireland receives more money from public purse per head than any other UK region

Northern Ireland is receiving more money from the public purse per person than any other region of the UK. Picture by Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

NORTHERN Ireland is receiving more money from the public purse per person than any other region of the UK, a National Audit Office investigation has confirmed.

Despite having the lowest total spending on public services at £21 billion - just four per cent of that of England - the north's population means this works out as £11,190 per head compared with £10,881 in Scotland, £10,397 in Wales and £9,080 in England.

The paper released yesterday sets out how HM Treasury allocates funding to the devolved administrations using the Barnett formula to calculate changes.

It found "as a large part of funding is simply rolled forward annually and unaffected by population changes, funding per person is increasing for the devolved administrations as their populations fall relative to that of England".

The devolved administrations are not required to use their funding allocations for the same service or area of spending as the UK government, so while more than 50 per cent of additional funding to the devolved administrations at the 2018 Budget came from their share of the increase NHS England payments, there is no requirement for this to be spent on the same services.

Northern Ireland received additional funding directly as part of the `confidence and supply' agreement between the Conservatives and the DUP.

It also benefited from part of £375 million allocated to the devolved administrations for `city deals' and additional funding "for EU exit-related work".

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