By George: how many billion?

Please don’t cheat. Without looking below, answer the following two questions:

a) How much money will the Government spend in 2013-14?

b) What will be the total of Government income in 2013-14?

The answers are to be found in a 34 page document out this week: ‘The State of the State 2013: In search of affordable government’. This is the second annual report published jointly by Deloitte LLP, the global business advisory organisation and Reform, a non-party think tank seeking better ways to deliver public services and economic prosperity.

It does not mince its words:

The UK state became unaffordable and is now reshaping its limits

The time is right for a national discussion on where state begins and ends

Our deficit reached a post war high of £159 billion just ahead of the 2010 election

The underlying figure has reduced to £120 billion and looks set to fall to below £96 billion in the next three years

But it is the following figures which cause most concern:

In 2012 the UK spent £46.5 billion in debt interest. This will be £49.5 billion this year and £71.3 billion by 2017/18.

Overall public sector debt was £1.1 trillion (71.1%) in 2012. It is now £1.2 trillion (74.5% of GDP).

The answers to the questions above are:

a) £720 billion

b) £612 billion

Under a) the total includes Welfare (£220 billion), Health (£137 billion), Education (£97 billion) and Defence (£40 billion).

Under b) the total includes Income Tax (£155 billion), National Insurance (£107 billion) and VAT (£103 billion).

George (sorry: Mr. Chancellor). Carry on telling everybody how well things are going. I suggest that you do NOT read this report.

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