The Government expects to spend £802 billion in 2017-18, the most it has ever spent in cash terms.

Social protection, health and education are the areas receiving the largest amounts. In 2016-17, social protection accounted for £264 billion of total spending, health £144 billion, and education £87 billion.

This money can be categorised in a number of different ways, including the method by which the spending was planned, the governmental function it is spent on, the departments and public bodies doing the spending, and the geographical areas where the money is spent.

If you are confused by Total Managed Expenditure, Departmental Expenditure Limits, Annually Managed Expenditure and other bureaucratic jargon, all is made clear in a surprisingly lucid House of Commons briefing paper, Public Spending – a brief introduction, which in 24 pages explains everything from the Barnett Formula to protected budgets.

You may be relieved to see that the 2015 spending review commitment to provide the NHS in England with £10 billion per year more in real terms by 2020-21 than in 2014-15 is still there.



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