Follow us
Publications Commentary Research People Events News Resources and Videos About IFS
Home Publications A survey of public spending in the UK

A survey of public spending in the UK

Soumaya Keynes and Gemma Tetlow
Briefing note

This Briefing Note provides an overview of public spending in the UK. It describes the components of public spending and examines trends in expenditure in each of six main areas. Section 2 provides an overview of total public spending in the UK. Section 3 explains how the current government plans public spending. Section 4 describes the current allocation of public spending and then focuses on how the amount received by each of the six main spending areas has changed over time. Section 5 comprises a discussion of recent trends that affect all of the spending areas, such as the advent of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). Section 6 concludes.

You can download an accompanying spreadsheet containing long-run spending data by function.

More on this topic

Press release
Despite improving public finances this year, the Chancellor is likely to have very little room for manoeuvre in his forthcoming Spending Review. That is because while the economy is recovering more quickly than expected at the March Budget, this may not translate into a permanent improvement in the ...
Journal article
This paper examines the impact of changes in public long-term care spending on the use of public hospitals among the older population in England.
External publication
Understanding inequalities within, not just between, regions of the UK is vital to formulating effective policy to ‘level up’ the country.