I had no idea that UK public spending had risen from 36.6% in 2000 to the 50% range until this post by Tyler Cowen
Remarkably, public spending actually went up last year as a share of our national income, according to a devastating analysis by the OECD.
In a spreadsheet buried deep on its website and annexed to its latest Economic Outlook, it says that public spending hit 49pc of UK GDP last year, a shocking increase on the 48.6pc of GDP spent by the state in 2011.
You should note that differing figures from the UK government show somewhat of a decline in spending in real terms, unlike this estimate. It would be interesting to read a detailed explanation of why the OECD figures differ.
I would also note that, according to these estimates, UK public spending was 36.6% of gdp in 2000, and had edged up over 50% by 2009 and 2010 and now is still in the range of 49% or so. Most of the run-up came over the bubbly years of 2000-2006. Let’s start by calling that an unsustainable mistake. I would say that, looking back, they didn’t get very much for this spending boost, did they? That’s fact #1 that should start off any analysis of British fiscal policy looking forward.
Still, these numbers should be put on the table. Instead, I very often see these numbers being swept under the proverbial rug. Perhaps it is believed they might confuse people.
(Via Marginal Revolution.)