“The public sector has long represented a major opportunity for private companies to sell products and services. With effectively no prospect of government spending falling to below 40% of UK GDP in the short term, the market is vast, and the drive for efficient service provision can only intensify with upward financial pressures on critical areas for environmental, social and demographic reasons.
- Terry Leggett, Senior Industrial Analyst
This report will explore the following key questions with regard to Public Expenditure in the UK:
- How will expenditure evolve over the next few years?
- Which sectors are being targeted for further reductions?
- With the UK economy growing, where are financial restrictions likely to be relaxed?
- How are the changes affecting the respective roles of services and capital expenditure?
- Where are private sector opportunities the strongest?
For the purposes of this report, UK public expenditure, which covers the government’s spending on public services, has been segmented into:
- Central government own expenditure
- Local government expenditure
- Public corporation expenditure
Each of these can be further segmented into the service function:
- General public services, which is defined as executive and legislative organs, financial and fiscal affairs, external affairs, foreign economic aid; general services; basic research; R&D general public services; general public services not elsewhere classified, public debt transactions and transfers of a general character between different levels of government
- Defence, which includes military defence, civil defence, foreign military aid and R&D defence public order and safety, which covers police services, fireprotection services, law courts, prisons, R&D
- Public order and safety economic affairs, which includes general economic, commercial and labour affairs, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, fuel and energy, mining, manufacturing and construction, transport, communication, other industries, and R&D
- Economic affairs environment protection, which includes waste management, waste water management, pollution abatement, protection of biodiversity and landscape, and R&D
- Environmental protection housing and community amenities covers housing development, community development, water supply, street lighting, and R&D housing and community amenities
- Health, which includes medical products, appliances and equipment, outpatient services, hospital services, public health services, and R&D health
- Recreation, culture and religion, which includes recreational and sporting services, cultural services, broadcasting and publishing services, religious and other community services, and R&D recreation, culture and religion
- Education, which covers preprimary and primary education, secondary education, postsecondary nontertiary education, tertiary education, education not definable by level, subsidiary services to education, and R&D education
- Social protection, which is defined as help given to those in need or at risk of hardship and includes: sickness and disability, old age, survivors, family and children, unemployment, housing, social exclusion and, R&D social protection
Expenditure can be further segmented into:
- Current expenditure on services
- Capital expenditure
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