One of the long-standing complaints about the way the block grants for Scotland and Wales work is the lack of transparency about them. One response to these has been for the Scotland and Wales Offices to publish details of changes in the block grants, and specifically in the DEL (Departmental Expenditure Limit) for the Scottish and Welsh Assembly Governments. The most recent figures have recently been posted on their websites: for Scotland, they’re here, and for Wales they’re here. This means we’ve now a run of about four years of data showing what the Treasury say has happened.
There are still plenty of shortcomings with the data that are published about devolution finance, and how they’re presented. (See HERE for my previous discussion of this.) What this information offers is the chance for those outside government to understand what has changed, how and (most important) what triggered that. Any students looking for a subject for a dissertation might find that this is a valuable and under-exploited source of data. It would make a nice project, as it’s original in content and manageable in scale. I’d love to see someone take it up!