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Public Expenditure

Volume 888: debated on Tuesday 18 March 1975

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is public expenditure as a percentage of GDP in the United Kingdom compared with that in the OECD countries at the latest available date.

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 17th March 1975], gave the following details:The latest information available for the countries of OECD as a whole is contained in the OECD publication "National Accounts of OECD Countries 1960–72". No statistics are published internationally of total public expenditure as it is defined in this country. The available figures relate to the current and capital expenditure of general Government on goods and services. This covers the expenditure of central Government and local authorities but not that of public corporations. It,excludes debt interest and transfer payments, such as pensions, grants and subsidies.

The most recent year for which the OECD tables are reasonably complete is 1970, and general Government expenditure on goods and services in that year was 22·8 per cent. of gross domestic product in purchasers' values in the United Kingdom, compared with 21·3 per cent. in all the OECD countries, other than Greece, Switzerland, Spain and Yugoslavia.