Government Expenditure

Winston Churchill once said that the best case against democracy was to spend five minutes with the average voter. The vox pop on the radio and television every day during an election depressingly bears that out. But as Churchill also said, democracy is the worst method of government - other than all the others. One of the problems is the lamentable ignorance of almost everyone - and I include in that some highly educated people - of how the government spends the money; the percentages spent on health, social security, defence etc. Here is a chart showing the percentages.


As the political discourse should be about priorities, surely one of any government's prime duties should be to make this sort of pie-chart part of education in schools, on the sides of buses and on posters across the country. The chart itself could be refined to show the relative difference in say, for instance, in-work and unemployment benefits: the proportion of unemployment benfits is tiny. This alone should inform the minumum wage debate as well as put to rest the almost universal rant that we are being beggered by the work-shy unemployed. The Leave campaign would surely have had its main fox shot if people knew the actual amount that gets spent on the EU as a percentage of the rest of government expenditure. It also shows where the cuts have to come from to really make a difference to the deficit. 

Allied with this - again in visual simple form - should be an explanation of the difference between the National Debt and the Defecit - and how the Deficit looks against annual expenditure. This could also be done in terms that anyone can understand - a houshold budget. This is for the United States in 2015 and makes the point perfectly. 

Income $21.7k

Expenditure $38.2k

New Debt $16.5

Balance on Credit Card $142k

Proposed Cuts $385

Until the voting population has some idea of what their government does with their taxes, and how much is going on the never-never, how can we expect democracy to function properly?

1 comment

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