Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe

David Cameron's statement that spending would return to 2006 levels once the budget cuts are over obscure the real contraction in public service spending.

David Cameron reassured nervous citizens in his speech on the government’s health and education reforms yesterday on the scale of the austerity faced by public services. He said:

“Of course some decisions will be difficult and involve difficulties. But when we’re done with these cuts, spending and public services will still be at the same level as it was in 2006. We will still be spending 41% of our GDP on the public sector.”

However, the 41% figure refers to all public spending – including the costs of the financial crisis such as debt repayments, which are projected to rise, and  jobseeker’s allowance spending, also projected to go up as unemployment increases.

A better measure of “spending on public services” or “spending … on the public sector” would be the Departmental Expenditure Limits which set budgets for health, education, local government, policing and other services while excluding social security and debt interest payments.

This graph, extracted from the Institute for Fiscal Studies presentation on the  2010 spending review, shows that the coalition plans to cut back departmental expenditure as a share of national income to a level close to that which Labour inherited from the Conservative government in 1990s, when, according to the prime minister “there was insufficient respect for the ethos of public services – and public service”. The vertical axis represents percentage of GDP.

Actual spending on public services, as reported in the Comprehensive Spending Review, is projected to fall from a 26.8 per cent this year to 20.5  per cent in 2014-15, below the 23.9 per cent spent in 2005-6, a drop in magnitude of around one tenth –  and much closer to the 1998-9 figure of 20.2 per cent.

30 Responses to “Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe”

  1. Simon HB

    RT @leftfootfwd: Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe: //bit.ly/forjGC reports @DanielElton

  2. peter kobi

    RT @leftfootfwd: Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe: //bit.ly/forjGC reports @DanielElton

  3. Deb

    RT @leftfootfwd: Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe: //bit.ly/forjGC reports @DanielElton

  4. Karl Macrow

    RT @leftfootfwd: Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe: //bit.ly/forjGC reports @DanielElton

  5. Watching You

    RT @leftfootfwd: Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe: //bit.ly/forjGC reports @DanielElton

  6. Daniel Pitt

    RT @leftfootfwd: Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe: //bit.ly/forjGC reports @DanielElton

  7. John Ruddy

    RT @leftfootfwd: Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe //bit.ly/fVBFFU < back to 1997

  8. craigjoneslab

    Tory claims that spending cuts reduce spending to 2006 levels false, more like the mid-90s days of leaking school roofs //bit.ly/e14TaR

  9. Stephen Lintott

    Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe | Left Foot Forward //tinyurl.com/48b5u9t

  10. False Economy

    RT @leftfootfwd Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe: //bit.ly/forjGC reports @DanielElton

  11. DarkestAngel

    RT @FalseEcon: RT @leftfootfwd Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe: //bit.ly/forjGC reports @DanielElton

  12. Kim Blake

    RT @FalseEcon: RT @leftfootfwd Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe: //bit.ly/forjGC reports @DanielElton

  13. Jill Hayward

    RT @FalseEcon: RT @leftfootfwd Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe: //bit.ly/forjGC reports @DanielElton

  14. Sam Dixon

    RT @FalseEcon: RT @leftfootfwd Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe: //bit.ly/forjGC reports @DanielElton

  15. Chris Roberts

    RT @FalseEcon: RT @leftfootfwd Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe: //bit.ly/forjGC reports @DanielElton

  16. L DTUC

    RT @FalseEcon: RT @leftfootfwd Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe: //bit.ly/forjGC reports @DanielElton

  17. william

    The money had run out (Lliam Byrne).Gordon Brown’s experiment,no more boom and bust,had the same validity as his degree in history from a minor university.As a consequence, we lost the 2010 election by a mile.There is no hope of us being reelected until we admit to our failings.

  18. Juan Voet

    RT @FalseEcon: RT @leftfootfwd Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe: //bit.ly/forjGC reports @DanielElton

  19. Don't Break Britain

    RT @FalseEcon: RT @leftfootfwd Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe: //bit.ly/forjGC reports @DanielElton

  20. andy

    RT @FalseEcon: RT @leftfootfwd Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe: //bit.ly/forjGC reports @DanielElton

  21. Nick H.

    RT @FalseEcon: RT @leftfootfwd Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe: //bit.ly/forjGC reports @DanielElton

  22. Spir.Sotiropoulou

    RT @leftfootfwd: Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe //bit.ly/fVBFFU

  23. cutsandgrazes dotcom

    RT @FalseEcon: RT @leftfootfwd Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe: //bit.ly/forjGC reports @DanielElton

  24. curmudgeon 1

    RT @leftfootfwd: Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe //bit.ly/fVBFFU

  25. Logical Conclusion

    What’s the alternative? Those costs were piled on us under Labour.

  26. Diane Hain

    Actually, we've covered @toadmeister's "spending is increasing" claim twice – first when it was made by Cameron: //t.co/JLLdHEmF

  27. E'Liza Gedrych

    Actually, we've covered @toadmeister's "spending is increasing" claim twice – first when it was made by Cameron: //t.co/JLLdHEmF

  28. KrustyAllslopp

    Actually, we've covered @toadmeister's "spending is increasing" claim twice – first when it was made by Cameron: //t.co/JLLdHEmF

  29. The perversity of Dan Hannan and the “there are no cuts” brigade | Left Foot Forward

    […] stuff we want to spend on like healthcare, education, parks and so on. Such spending is due to be cut from 27% of GDP in 2010 to just 20% of GDP in […]

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