There is £4.3 Billion Public Spend in Cornwall

There are often comparisons on sector spend in Cornwall, compared with the South West and national picture. Sometimes it seems like a competition of who spends the most. Truth be told, they are all important.

For this blog I will be concentrating on the public sector spend in Cornwall. The title of the blog has already given it away, as in total public spend is £4.3 billion. This is a staggering amount, but as recent funding cuts have shown, have reduced, especially for Cornwall Council’s budget.

The £4.3 billion* is split between many organisation as I will explain.

The biggest slice of this spend is with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and their part of the pot is £1,549m. This is further broken-down:

  • State Pensions – £882m
  • Housing Benefit – £192m
  • Disability Living Allowance – £133m
  • JSA – £25m
  • Other – £316

Cornwall Council is the next biggest at £1,119m. Again like the DWP, this can be broken-down as:

  • Education, Health and Social Care – £548m
  • Communities and Organisational Development – £307m
  • Economy, Enterprise and Environment £169m
  • Other Corporate – £90m

Next, as you might have guessed is Health. Their total spend is £956m. This is broken-down as:

  • Kernow Clinical Commissioning – £711m
  • NHS England Specialist Healthcare and Primary Care – £245m

The Police, which includes the Police Commissioner – £290m

There is a group that I will call Other Agencies and this spends £190m and consists of:

  • Skills Fund Agency – £44m
  • Culture, Media and Sport – £21m
  • DEFRA – £75m
  • Highways Agency (responsible for A30 and A38) – £15m
  • Ministry of Justice – £36m

There is also:

  • Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry – £9m
  • HRA – £40m
  • Town and Parish (precepts) £15m
  • Academy Schools £152m

There are couple of points I am going to make on these figures. They are different points, but all have an impact on public spend.

The first is on the aims of Cornwall Council to have more say in how money is spent in Cornwall. This is why the Case for Cornwall which asks for more powers in Cornwall has been put forward to the Civil Service. Of course, in some of the Case for Cornwall’s asks, there will be areas that can not be handed to another authority, others could, but will not for one reason or another. I guess the success of the Case for Cornwall will depend on the willingness of who will govern us post 7th May.

The other point is on the current agenda for greater integration for Health and Social Care including pooled budgets. Though the latter needs some real culture and legislation change if this was to happen, but it could happen. If this did happen, the spend in this area would be over £1.1 billion – this figure also includes Children’s Services. If there was better or indeed full integration, then there could be better service provision as it would require less bureaucracy of setting up, running and commissioning services.


*some figures are based on estimates

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