Government spending in the United Kingdom

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Pie chart of UK central government expenditure, 2009-10. Debt interest is shown in purple.

Central government spending in the United Kingdom, also called public expenditure, is the responsibility of the UK government, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive. Government spending in the UK is the ninth highest of the 27 member states of the European Union[1] and represents 51% of GDP.

Spending per head is significantly higher in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland than it is in England.[2] In the case of Scotland, however, although public spending is greater than the United Kingdom average, this is because Scotland produces more tax than people in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.[3] Indeed, Scotland has produced more tax per head than any other UK nation in every single year dating back to 1980 due to oil revenues. As of 2014 and the release of the GERS report, Scotland was in relative deficit compared to the rest of the UK and received a net subsidy from the UK government, this deficit was attributed to declining oil revenues. This condition is predicted to only get worse as oil revenues fall further.[4] However, England still produces the majority of the UK's GDP due to the fact that its population size is roughly ten times that of Scotland, and the economies of scale of England result in more effective spending per capita.[3]

Local government spending[edit]

Local government spending is the responsibility of local authorities, under the supervision of the respective national governments:

Spending by subnational authorities amounted to 26% of total public expenditure in 2010.[5]

See also[edit]