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Are there any objective resources to understand government spending?

(11 Posts)
DrinkMilkAndKickAss Mon 01-May-17 13:22:11

I've always been pretty confident in my own political beliefs that investing in public services, in order to protect the most vulnerable in society and to invest in skills for the future etc, is crucial and as such have always voted for left of centre parties. Budget cuts as they are now just seem to me unnecessary, ineffectual and unfair. However a lot of posters do post that labour always 'runs the country into the ground' and I do wonder if my political beliefs actually get in the way of cold, hard facts and that perhaps this is unsustainable. So I was wondering if anyone had any good resources or know of links to show what government spending deficit etc has been over the last 20 years. Am I ignorant to think that actually new labour's spending wasn't the problem but their (lack of) regulation of the banks and the financial crisis? This won't impact on my own vote by I do want to be as informed as possible, and perhaps even able to approach the policies that I admire most more critically in order to fully understand what it is I'm voting for.

itsacatastrophe Mon 01-May-17 15:20:35

wikipedia
uk public spending
office of national statistics

Not neutral on statistics but I remember reading this article two years ago. Food for thought.
Labour may have run the country into the ground spending too much and the conservatives are running the country into the ground spending too little (especially in schools and hospitals). And you could vote in the middle but let's face it, lib dems are not going to be winning a majority government next month, so choose wise

Believeitornot Mon 01-May-17 15:23:01

HAVe a look at the national audit office - they're the independent government spending watchdog and write reports on various projects.

53rdWay Mon 01-May-17 16:30:48

National Audit Office as Believeitornot recommended - their reports are very clearly written and really interesting (imho anyway!).

Office for Budget Responsibility reports on sustainability of public finances. Their Brief Guides are good.

When it comes to Labour vs Conservative spending and the cause of the global financial crash though it's hard to find objective reports on that specifically, because there's so much political ideology wrapped up in it. For that I'd look at a broader take. This book - Economics: The Users Guide: A Pelican Introduction, by Ha-Joon Chang - is great, very readable, and covers government approaches to spending (and the philosophies behind that) as well as the lead-up to the crash.

niceguy2 Wed 03-May-17 16:37:12

And you could vote in the middle but let's face it, lib dems are not going to be winning a majority government next month, so choose wise

The problem with that logic is whilst it may well turn out to be true. The logic itself feeds into a self fulfilling prophecy.

If the lib dems best represent your views then you should vote for them.

Otherwise you're voting for someone whose views don't represent yours then are further disappointed when they carry out policies you voted for but didn't want!

misskelly Wed 03-May-17 16:44:38

The ifs.org.uk can be a useful source for info.

In terms of public spending if you look at it as a cycle instead of linear you will see that the Tories general underspend and run public service in to the ground and Labour generally have to pump huge amounts of money in to revive serivces.

That pretty much explains why Labour god involved in PFI, no money to spend but a desperate need for new hospitals and schools.

misskelly Wed 03-May-17 16:46:04

Jings, spelling is awful, must learn to proofread.

DrinkMilkAndKickAss Wed 03-May-17 18:08:37

Thanks everyone, a lot of good for though! I agree misskelly there really is no way to compare. At the end of the day thanks for first past the post my vote means means diddly squat but it is good to be better informed when discussing politics!

DrinkMilkAndKickAss Wed 03-May-17 18:08:51

*food for thought

lovecreameggs Thu 04-May-17 02:23:04

I know quite a bit about how one department spends their money and can assure you that each government spends the same, they just spend it on different things, guided by their ideology.

imablackstarnotapopstar Wed 31-May-17 08:25:19

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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