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.