The Treasury statistics are unambiguous. Total public spending has risen in every month since the coalition was formed. During the seven months that followed the general election, spending was £23.3 billion higher than during the equivalent period twelve months previously, an increase of seven per cent.
- Debt repayments – the more we borrow, the more we have to pay back and the less we have available to spend on the services people actually want us to provide. Currently, the government’s interest payments amount to around £31bn but the budget forecasts anticipate this rising to £60bn in 2015.
- Regulatory infrastructure – the ‘bonfire of quangos’ did not touch the core of our government’s regulatory infrastructure and it seems likely the government (local and national) will remove direct service before reducing regulatory bureaucracy. In some sectors, such as health and child protection we are likely to see increases in regulatory costs.
- Additional spending directed to schools and the NHS – although it doesn’t sound like it, the money heading to schools and frontline health care is planned to increase. This is partly at the expense of central supports and grants but includes real increases