UK public spending since 1963

Back when the Beatles were having their first number one, the government spent £12bn a year, now it’s nearer £700bn. See how the numbers have changed
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Tax receipts since 1963

Back when the Beatles were having their first number one, the government spent £12bn a year, now it’s over £600bn. See how the numbers have changed — as figures and as percentage of GDP.

HM Treasury publishes a monthly public finances databank spreadsheet (worth subscribing to the email, by the way) – and we update these as they change.

The widening gap between what the government has coming in and what’s going out is striking – especially if you look at the big recessions of the last few decades – the mid-1970s, the early 1980s and 2008. We’ve used percentage of GDP so you can see it in real terms each year.

We also break down public spending by government department – you can read more about that here – or click around the graphic below.

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DATA: UK public spending since 1963
GRAPHIC: Britain’s public finances at the height of the recession

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