ICAEW chart of the week – Public spending profile

Ross Campbell, Director for Public Sector at ICAEW, writes:

“With the Spring Statement already drifting into memory, our chart this week, shows how the profile of public spending has changed over the last 60 years. 

It shows how back in 1958-59, the government spent less than a quarter of its budget on welfare (including pensions) and health, but today spending in those areas has increased to around 54% of total spending.

The consequence is that the proportion of the total available to spend on all other public services has decreased significantly, with defence having had the largest reduction over time.

Because we are all living longer, spending has been increasing on pensions, health, and social care in particular. The demographic projections mean that this trend is likely to continue over the next 30 years as we continue to age as a society.

If the past is any guide to the future, the trend of successive governments choosing to prioritise health, welfare and pensions over other spending is likely to continue. So don’t expect the pressure on public spending to let up anytime soon…”

To comment on the ICAEW chart of the week, visit the ICAEW Talk Accountancy blog by clicking here.

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