A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

UK public spending

The Guardian website has published some interesting Treasury data on UK public spending since 1963. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/apr/25/uk-public-spending-1963). Sorry that the table hasn't quite come out as it should below but it is worth a careful read of the % of GDP figures - the second number after each year.

They show that public spending as a GDP % actually went up under Thatcher from 1980 to 1983 presumably because of the cost of unemployment benefits and reduced overall size of the economy. Then the % was squeezed slowly down until 1989 before rising again as the economy contracted, then falling again in the 1990s recovery to a low point of 36.4% in 1999 when Labour was sticking to Tory spending plans. Labour's public services investment after this seems to be the only time that the % has gone up outside a recession - to 41.3% in 2005. But then far from going on a structural splurge we stabilised it for a few years at levels way lower than the '70s and '80s. The % only goes up again into the high 40s once the recession kicks in i.e. as the wider economy contracts and Labour goes for a fiscal stimulus - not because of some longer-term Labour profligacy. The projected figures for the Coalition's plans basically take us back to 2003 levels over 5 years wiping out not just the fiscal stimulus deficit funding of the last few years but also the policy-driven investment made by Labour in the middle part of the decade. There's also a similar table about tax receipts - http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/apr/25/tax-receipts-1963.

PUBLIC SPENDING
.
FINANCIAL YEAR
£bn
% of GDP
.
1963-64
12.0
38.5
.
1964-65
13.0
38.1
.
1965-66
14.5
39.6
.
1966-67
16.0
41.4
.
1967-68
18.3
44.5
.
1968-69
19.3
43.4
.
1969-70
20.3
42.5
.
1970-71
22.7
42.7
.
1971-72
25.2
42.6
.
1972-73
28.2
41.9
.
1973-74
33.4
44.3
.
1974-75
43.7
48.6
.
1975-76
55.7
49.7
.
1976-77
63.6
48.5
.
1977-78
69.4
45.6
.
1978-79
78.5
45.1
.
1979-80
93.5
44.6
.
1980-81
112.4
47.0
.
1981-82
125.5
47.7
.
1982-83
138.3
48.1
.
1983-84
149.7
47.8
.
1984-85
159.9
47.5
.
1985-86
166.5
45.0
.
1986-87
172.7
43.6
.
1987-88
183.3
41.6
.
1988-89
190.7
38.9
.
1989-90
210.2
39.2
.
1990-91
227.5
39.4
.
1991-92
254.2
41.9
.
1992-93
274.2
43.7
.
1993-94
286.0
43.0
.
1994-95
299.0
42.5
.
1995-96
311.1
41.8
.
1996-97
315.8
39.9
.
1997-98
322.4
38.2
.
1998-99
331.7
37.3
.
1999-00
343.9
36.4
.
2000-01
363.7
36.8
.
2001-02
391.1
37.9
.
2002-03
422.2
38.7
.
2003-04
456.2
39.4
.
2004-05
492.8
40.6
.
2005-06
524.6
41.3
.
2006-07
550.6
40.9
.
2007-08
582.5
41.1
.
2008-09
629.8
43.9
.
2009-10
669.3
47.5
.
2010-11
696.8
47.3
.
2011-12
699.8
45.5
.
2012-13
711
43.9
.
2013-14
722
42.2
.
2014-15
737.5
40.9
.
2015-16
757.5
39.8

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