As the year draws to a close, many of us will be taking stock of this year and thinking about what we will do next year. In that spirit, today’s #ICAEWchartoftheweek looks at the £809bn of public spending planned for the coming financial year starting 1 April 2018.
£809bn is equivalent to an average of £1,013 per person each month when divided by the projected population next year of 66.6m.
Analysed in this way, many individual elements of public spending do not appear unreasonable. For example, the £44 per person per month planned to be spent on public order and safety can be broken down into £26 each month on policing, £7 on the court system, £6 on prisons, £4 on fire services and £1 on border controls.
Even the £194 per person per month going on health, of which around £175 goes on the NHS, costs us less on average than you might think.
The problem is that just like domestic finances, the different costs of government activities all add up. And just like domestic finances, spending more than you earn, inevitably leads to problems.
Especially when you think about just how large a sum of money is represented by £1,000 a month for each and every person living in the UK and how few of us pay over £1,000 a month in taxes.