All bets are off about what will happen to government statistics until the Bean Review has reported but the underlying financial position does not look too bad: the UKSA budget looks to be on the up, in this year at least. That is the conclusion drawn from the headline figures in the Estimates Memorandum which sets out funding to be provided by parliament. More detail might be forthcoming in the UKSA 2014-15 accounts which, as noted in my blog, are late but due to be published soon.
The memorandum is published on the pages of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee which has replaced PASC, its predecessor committee, and has oversight of UKSA. All public bodies have to publish such information annually.
The main table in the memorandum is table 4:
The “Total DEL” is clearly up in 2015-16. It’s a shame it does not publish the bottom line figures excluding the lumpy ten-yearly census figures but even so UKSA looks to have been spared the worst of the cuts.
The document sets out the various net ups and downs in this year’s budget compared to previous years and there is one large up: “Confirmation of final funding requirement for Census Transformation Programme, resulting in £11,900,000 being confirmed in the Main Estimate 2015/16.” This is the money that UKSA is using to get admin data used more robustly in the preparation of statistics and especially in the census.
Hopefully there will be some changes to the presentation of this formal note in future years that will make it easier to read. It’s also a bit odd under “objectives and priorities” to spend eleven lines discussing “independent regulation” and only six on the ONS when the latter consumes perhaps 99% of the budget!