Skip to content

Public sector finances (PSF)

This area provides links to guidance and methodology publications related to PSF statistics. These publications are often relevant to the PSF and the government debt and deficit under the Maastricht Treaty publications, as well as their associated tables.


The statistical bulletin on PSF is published jointly by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and HM Treasury on a monthly basis and provides the latest available estimates for PSF statistics, such as public sector net borrowing, public sector net debt and public sector current budget deficit/surplus.

Background for users of PSF statistics (134.3 Kb Pdf)

This is an analysis of the government finances for current budget and the relationship between expenditure and revenue.

Government debt and deficit under the Maastricht Treaty

This statistical bulletin on government deficit and debt under the Maastricht Treaty is published every 6 months, at the end of March and September each year, to coincide with the dates when the UK and other EU member states are obliged to report to the European Commission their actual and planned government deficit and debt.

The source data for this publication is the same as that used in compiling the monthly PSF bulletin (for comparing with PSF releases, use February for calendar year and August for financial year). However, there are 3 main differences between this bulletin and the PSF.

  1. This bulletin includes only debt and deficit recorded to central and local government, whereas the PSF bulletin also includes measures of other public sector bodies.

  2. This bulletin reports gross debt, that is all financial liabilities of central and local government, whereas the PSF bulletin headline figure is net debt, that is the financial liabilities minus liquid assets (mainly in the form of cash deposits).

  3. General government net borrowing as reported in this bulletin differs a little from that in the PSF bulletin in order to make it fully consistent with guidance in the manual on government deficit and debt.

Recent classification decisions and economic events affecting PSF statistics (163 Kb Pdf)

Sources summary and their timing (22.8 Kb Pdf)

Document Date of release 
Public Sector Finances - Wider Measures of Public sector Net Debt (337.9 Kb Pdf) Dec 2015
Inventory of the methods and sources used for reporting Maastricht definitions of deficit and debt (1.72 Mb Pdf) Dec 2015
Annex to the inventory - list of government units (267 Kb Excel sheet) Dec 2015
Public Sector Finances Revisions Policy (207 Kb Pdf) Sept 2015
Production of the public sector finances statistical bulletin: responsibilities and accountabilities (154.3 Kb Pdf)   July 2015 
Update Report on Implementation of the Review of Public Sector Finance Statistics (194.7 Kb Pdf) May 2015
UK Government interventions in the financial sector 2007 to 2015 (108.6 Kb Pdf) May 2015
Longer-term trends – Public sector finances Nov 2014
Treatment of public sector banks in PSF (59.3 Kb Pdf) Nov 2014
Developments to PSF statistics - June 2014 update (255.2 Kb Pdf) June 2014

Developments to PSF statistics - February 2014 update (969.7 Kb Pdf)

Feb 2014

Transition to ESA10: update to impact on PSF (138 Kb Pdf)

Feb 2014

2013 review of PSF statistics: consultation response (129.2 Kb Pdf)

Feb 2014
Comparison of government expenditure and revenue statistics in the monthly PSF and quarterly national accounts (99.2 Kb Pdf) Dec 2013
ESA 2010: impact on PSF (61.2 Kb Pdf) Dec 2013
Developments to PSF statistics (71.2 Kb Pdf) Dec 2013
Clarifying how PSF classification decisions are made (35.9 Kb Pdf) Aug 2013
Improving government statistics – aligning the PSF and national accounts and other developments to public sector statistics (184.9 Kb Pdf) Jun 2013
Monthly statistics on PSF: a methodological guide (360.3 Kb Pdf) Aug 2012
Production of PSF statistical bulletin: responsibilities and accountabilities Jun 2012

A broader picture of the public sector balance sheet: state pension and other pension obligations

Apr 2012
PSF, August 2011: the 2011 PSF user engagement survey Sep 2011
Comparison of PSF measures from the national accounts and whole of government accounts (60.6 Kb Pdf) Jun 2011
Inclusion of RBS and Lloyds Banking Group in the PSF (61.8 Kb Pdf) Jan 2011
Remaining public banks raises public sector net debt (59.7 Kb Pdf) Jan 2011

An update of public sector debt (122.6 Kb Pdf)

Sep 2010
Wider measures of public sector debt (195.7 Kb Pdf) Jul 2010
Arrangements for incorporating Bank of England data into the PSF - Bank response to ONS (33.8 Kb Pdf) Mar 2010 
Arrangements for incorporating Bank of England data into the PSF - ONS letter to Bank (25.5 Kb Pdf) Mar 2010
Public sector interventions in the financial crisis (2.71 Mb Pdf) Nov 2009

The public sector balance sheet (239.6 Kb Pdf)

Jul 2009

Inclusion of Bank of England and Northern Rock in PSF statistics (169.5 Kb Pdf)

Sep 2008
Private finance initative (PFI) and public debt (93.3 Kb Pdf) May 2008
Bank of England in PSF statistics (168.2 Kb Pdf) Feb 2008
Letter to HM Treasury regarding International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and PFI (109.7 Kb Pdf) Oct 2007
Government guarantee in relation to Northern Rock plc (124.6 Kb Pdf) Sep 2007
The use of gross domestic product (GDP) in fiscal ratio statistics (70.8 Kb Pdf) Jun 2007
Government and public sector debt measures (120.3 Kb Pdf) Sep 2006
Public Sector Finances Excluding Financial Interventions (166.8 Kb Pdf) Mar 2010
Including finance leasing in public sector net debt, PFI and other (622.9 Kb Pdf) Jul 2004
General government consumption at constant prices (27.6 Kb Pdf) Aug 2002
Classification of mobile phone licences (29.6 Kb Pdf) Dec 2001
National accounts: effects of spectrum payments (23.3 Kb Pdf) Oct 2000
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.