Professor David Heald

Current Research Projects

  • Together with Ron Hodges (Birmingham Business School), David Heald is continuing to work on public sector accounting reform. They have published an analysis of the EPSAS project, European Public Sector Accounting Standards being an ambitious EU-wide harmonisation project led by Eurostat on behalf of the European Commission. They have also published on accounting for government guarantees, which they interpret as an alternative off-balance sheet mechanism to Public-Private Partnerships, on which both have written separately.
  • David Heald has a longstanding interested in financing UK devolution, having proposed in 1976 what later became the 'tartan tax', and having in 1980 named the 'Barnett formula', which determines a substantial part of the annual changes in expenditure of the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. He has written extensively on these topics, including his 1994 exposition and 2005 numerical analysis of the Barnett formula, and 2002 proposals for its modification in the light of post-devolution experience. If more attention had been paid to these issues in the 2000s, the future of the United Kingdom would not presently seem so fragile. He has submitted evidence to the Scottish Parliament on the misalignment of UK and Scottish budgetary timetables (2016) and on the new Scottish fiscal framework (2016). His chapter on 'The Politics of Scotland's public finances' will be published in 2020 in The Oxford Handbook of Scottish Politics.

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