The End of Austerity?

Section: Members Highlights / WTA Blog
25 June 2017 | Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) / United Kingdom
United Kingdom


In the wake of the 2017 UK general election, much commentary has focused on the impact public spending cuts had on the result. Less attention has been paid to assessing by how much public spending has actually been reduced. In 2011 the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast that in 2016-17 public sector net debt would be 66 percent of GDP. The actual figure ended up being 86 per cent. With the national debt now forecast to start accelerating sharply in 2031-32, reaching 234 per cent of GDP by 2066-673, spending restraint remains crucial to Britain’s fiscal stability.

Key findings of the report reveal that:

  • In 2016-17 public spending was £1.3 billion lower than in it was in 2009-10 (real terms). A fall of 0.2 per cent
  • In 2016-17 spending on welfare for people of working age and children was 3.9 percent lower than it was in 2009-10 (real terms)
  • In 2016-17 spending on welfare for pensioners was 12.1 percent higher than it was in 2009-10 (real terms)
  • Two departments experienced real-terms budget increases between 2010-11 and 2015-16: Health and International Development.

Read the full report here.