Here is a graph that shows UK public spending each year since 2000 (in constant prices). Click on it for full details.
It rather puts all that talk of austerity into perspective.
Clearly there have been some cut backs. But overall, the reduction in public spending is pretty small. The Coalition's great austerity drive does not even take us back to 2009, the year before the Coalition came to office.
In 2010, public spending was £660 Billion. In 2015, it will be £728 Billion – an increase of almost £70 Billion.
According to this week's Spectator, government spending in Ireland is a third down from its peak. In Greece, 20 percent down.
Of course, no one in Ireland or Greece stood for election promising those things. The laws of maths made it happen.
So might the laws of maths mean that we, too, are one day forced to make a similar kind of retrenchment?
Outrageous? Unthinkable? The UK government continues to spend £100 billion more each year than the state takes in taxation. And the laws of maths a universal ....
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