Research puts Blair and Brown’s spending under a microscope

A REPORT published today by the London School of Economics (LSE) has shed some light on the effect of big spending increases between 1997 and 2010 on British society.

Public spending rose from £449bn in 1997, when Labour entered power, to £725bn in 2010, a rise of 60 per cent. The economy only grew by 30 per cent over the same period, public spending as a share of the whole economy rose from 39.5 per cent to 47.4 per cent.

Large increases in spending came only in the second term of office for Tony Blair. The report suggests that in 2001, after four years in power, real public spending was lower as a proportion of GDP than at any point under the previous Conservative administrations.

Rising spending saw mixed results. Relative poverty fell among groups that the government targeted for additional spending, like pensioners and children, but rose among working-age adults without children.