By Max Clarke
Spending on social security has jumped by 26% over the past 30 years to £200 billion whilst the UK's healthcare spend has nearly doubled.
The increases have been financed by a long-term decline in defence spending- dropping from 10% of public spend in the late 1970s to 6% today- as well as reductions in business investment and public safety, the government’s financial watchdog, the Institute of Fiscal Studies today revealed in their latest research, entitled ‘The changing composition of public spending’.
Healthcare expenditure will continue to swell, accounting for nearly 1 in 3 pounds spent by the government as soon a 2014/15. Public order and safety expenditure is forecast to suffer most to finance the swollen NHS budget- in spite of the widespread unrest witnessed recently across the UK.
“The way the state spends our money has shifted to a remarkable extent towards spending on health and social security over the past 30 years,” said Paul Johnson, Director of the IFS and one of the authors of the report.
“This change has been possible because the state has withdrawn from other areas of activity — defence, housing and industrial support."
The coalition government in their March 2011 budget promised A Plan for Growth, with increased focus on business, whilst Vince Cable has embarked on missions to promote UK industry.
“Governments have three choices,” continued Johnson, "increase total spending to accommodate these changes, reform health and pension spending dramatically to cap future costs, or cut back elsewhere.”
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