Welsh Government Annual Accounts

Welsh Government Annual Accounts2019-20

The Auditor General for Wales qualified   his opinion on the financial statements of the Welsh Government’s finances because, in his opinion, costs of £739m relating to commitments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic had been omitted. This also meant that overall net expenditure would have been £303m more than the limit   authorised by the Senedd. This has arisen due to a disagreement with the Welsh Government on a complex accounting issue.

The Welsh Government Accounts sets out the combined financial results   for the Welsh Government, the 11 Welsh NHS bodies and 5 subsidiaries

Audit findings provided assurance on

Total income £18.4 billion
How are they funded?
  • Central funding £16.9 billion
  • Other income £1.5 billion
Other income
Total expenditure £17.5 billion
What did they spend?
Operating expenditure
Welsh Government
Staff costs £0.3 bn
Goods and services £0.3 bn
Asset related costs £0.5 bn
Medical negligence claims and other provisions £0.2 bn
£1.3 bn
What they own £30.4 billion
Total Assets £30.4 billion
Land and buildings, transport, equipment and other assets £24.2 billion
Trade and other receivables £0.7 billion
Inventories £0.3 billion
Cash £0.8 billion
Financial assets £4.4 billion
Student loans £3.5 billion
Other financial assets £0.9 billion
Land and buildings, transport, equipment and other assets
What they owe £3.7 billion
Total Liabilities£3.7 billion
Trade and other payables£2.3 billion
Medical negligence claims and other provisions£1.3 billion
Other liabilities £0.1 billion

This includes amounts owed to grant recipients and to suppliers

Staff Costs £4.6 billion Staff numbers 90,000
Of which, Salaries and wages £3.6 billion , split
People Wage cost
5,000 £0.2 billion
84,000 £3.3 billion
1,000 £0.1 billion
The remuneration of the highest paid director in the Welsh Government was £200,000 to £205,000. This was 5.6 times the median remuneration of the workforce, which was £36,500 Salary costs range from £15,000 - £20,000 to £200,000 to £205,000


COVID-19 business grants   of £781m were committed to in 2019-20, but only £42m of these were included in the financial statements. In the Auditor General's opinion  , the financial statements are materially mis-stated. 

The Group has purchased a rail network, the Core Valleys Line  , with a value of £2.4 billion in the accounts

The Welsh Government issued loans of £0.7 billion to higher education students. The total value of loans and interest outstanding at 31 March 2020 was £5.3 billion, with around £3.5 billion estimated to be repaid in the future. 

The Welsh Government should not exceed the annual spending limit agreed by the Senedd. Taking account of the material mis-statement of £739m, the Welsh Government would have exceeded its spending limit   by £303m. This overspend is irregular

A Ministerial Direction in December 2019 instructed the Welsh Government to fund certain pension tax liabilities for NHS clinicians. No additional costs resulted in 2019-20, but the Auditor General has drawn attention   to a contingent liability for future costs reported in the accounts.

The Auditor General issued a qualified opinion on his audit of the Welsh European Agricultural Funds. The Welsh Government awarded €4.8m of European funding to organisations without evidence of a competitive application process. The European Commission has asked for some of this money to be repaid by Welsh Government.

The Welsh Government Group includes:
7 Local Health Boards
  • Aneurin Bevan
  • Betsi Cadwaladr
  • Cardiff and Vale
  • Cwm Taf Morgannwg
  • Hywel Dda
  • Powys
  • Swansea Bay
3 NHS Trusts
  • Public Health Wales
  • Velindre
  • Welsh Ambulance Services
1 Special Health Authority
  • Health Education and Improvement Wales
5 wholly owned subsidiaries
  • Development Bank of Wales
  • WGC Holdco
  • Transport for Wales
  • Careers Choices Dewis Gyrfa
  • Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales

This is money from the UK Government and Welsh taxes

The Core Valley Lines rail network was transferred from Network Rail to Transport for Wales during the year. The railway network runs from Cardiff to Treherbert, Aberdare, Merthyr Tydfil, Coryton, Rhymney and Cwmbargoed. The Welsh Government received a grant of £0.5 billion from the Department for Transport to fully fund this purchase.

This relates to grants and funding to bodies that are outside of the Welsh Government Group

This relates to the trunk road network, and is made up of land, the road pavement, structures (eg bridges) and communications (eg signs)

These are loans issued to students in higher education

Other financial assets include loans and investments, including Help to Buy Wales.

The salary and allowances figure that half of the Welsh Government's employees earn more than, and half the employees earn less than

The number of times that the amount earned by the highest paid employee exceeds the amount earned by the median employee

The Auditor General has included an Emphasis of Matter paragraph in the audit opinion to draw attention to a contingent liability disclosure in the accounts. The audit opinion is not qualified for this item.

staff costs include salary and wages of £3.6 billion, pension costs of £0.6 billion and social security costs of £0.4 billion

The financial statements are true and fair, with the exception of the omission of £739 million of expenditure

This relates to grants to businesses eligible for Small Business Rates Relief and grants to certain retail, leisure and hospitality businesses

This is the Auditor General’s formal view on the financial statements

Each year, the Welsh Government is required to spend in line with the budget approved by the Senedd