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Source: HM Treasury

Government revenue and expenditure as a percentage of GDP

And over the whole of the 20th century (Source: Institute for Fiscal Studies):

Forecast non-capital expenditure by department (click to expand the thumbnail)

Forecast capital expenditure by department (click to expand the thumbnail)

Major department expenditure over the last few years (Source: ukpublicspending.co.uk):

(Note that the Treasury numbers are adjusted for inflation, the ukpublicspending numbers are not.)



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 21st, 2010 07:05 pm (UTC)
What's the explanation for pensions and "other spending"?
Oct. 21st, 2010 08:27 pm (UTC)
I honestly don't know! Having said that, you can get an more drilled-down analysis of the numbers at http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/classic.html#ukgs30280 .
Oct. 21st, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC)
So government spending has been rising since 1982 irrespective of who was in power.
But with an increased gradient 91-96 (Con) and then another increase in the gradient since 2001 (Lab) with an odd jump at 2006 or so.

What does this tell us and how does it dovetail with major UK and World events? (eg ERM, housing crash, September 11, Overthrowing Taleban in Afghanistan, 3 Para in Helmand, Afghanistan)
Oct. 21st, 2010 08:41 pm (UTC)
Actually, the trend for government spending as a percentage of GDP is upwards since well before 1982. See my new graph, added as an edit, and courtesy of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Oct. 21st, 2010 09:00 pm (UTC)

Sterling was in the ERM between 1990 and 1992. Direct impact of that on the graph probably isn't that large, although many people would argue that the recession of the early nineties was a result of that period and the boom of the mid to late nineties was the result of the exit. That would of course affect tax revenues in absolute terms and GDP.

The housing crash of 2007 in the US directly led to the current financial crisis and hence UK government intervention to 'save' certain banks in 2008 and 2009. That intervention was a direct cost of a little over £76billion. (You can find much bigger numbers for the 'real' cost if you look around, but those are usually bloggers including amounts guaranteed by the government or loans made at commercial terms, neither of which is really a direct cost. And of course, in return for £76billion, the government came away with lots of bargain-basement shares in the banks, shares which in future could potentially be sold at a profit.

The British military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan has cost around £2billion per conflict per year.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )