When published, the UK's much-delayed whole of government accounts (WGA) will provide valuable incremental information on UK public finances. The WGA will complement existing fiscal indicators such as net debt, which excludes public assets other than liquid financial assets, by establishing a more complete picture. Emphasising the relevance of accounting consolidation to the public sector, this article assesses potential uses of WGA and explains why the UK timetable for publication - originally 2005-06 and now 2009-10 slipped so badly. A series of conceptual and technical issues is examined, including how the WGA boundary is defined; the emphasis the UK places on alignment with the national accounts; and the proposed treatment of taxes paid by entities within the WGA consolidation.
- whole of government accounts
- accruals accounting in government