Government Spending by Department.

Tuesday, 06 November 2012

Another great article by the Guardian, illustrating government spending by department.

Relates to spending 2010 to 2011, but gives a great overview of what your tax is spent on.

The biggest single share of you money goes on benefits and pensions. Of which just under half is given to pensioners through the state pension and the rest funds various benefits, most notably housing benefit and disability living allowance and attendance. There's another sizeable chunk of benefits attributed to HM Revenue and Customs as they are delivered as tax allowances.

Next up is the department of health, most notably the NHS, which receives about half as much as goes on benefits and pensions, if you include tax credits and child benefit.

I'm a big supporter of the NHS. I have to be, it's saved my life twice and will do so again in the next few months, but you can't help but note that these two departments represent just under 40% of the tax everyone pays. In some countries comparable spending is zero. Most notably of all, the United States spends virtually nothing on these areas, although it is almost unique in the developed world in doing so; it goes a long way to explain the tax differences between Europe and the United States.

Education receives about half what is spent on the health.

Defence and local government, receive budgets about a third less than education. And Scotland receives additional funds of about the same amount as defence and local government.

Justice, transport, Wales, culture, business development, the Home Office, climate change, and international development are the other key cost centres, but are relative minnows compared to those previously mentioned, receiving about a sixth of what is spent on education.

Interest repayments cost almost as much as the entire education budget and way more than the defence budget.

For a much bigger graphic and a lot more analysis please see the full article in the external links.