EU accounting changes to add $49 billion to UK public debt: ONS

LONDON Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:54am EST

People walk and jog past the Bank of England, London June 15, 2012. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

People walk and jog past the Bank of England, London June 15, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Paul Hackett

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's public debt is likely to be revised up by 30 billion pounds ($49 billion) next September due to changes to European Union guidance on public accounts, the country's statistics agency said on Tuesday.

Network Rail, the state-owned company that manages Britain's railway network, will be reclassified as a public-sector company rather than as a private one, adding 30 billion pounds to public sector net debt, backdated to the 2012/13 tax year.

The correct treatment of the transfer of Royal Mail's (RMG.L) historic pension assets and liabilities to the government prior to its privatization will need further assessment, the ONS said, but is likely to add 9 billion pounds to public sector net borrowing recorded for April 2012.

($1 = 0.6136 British pounds)

(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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