This monograph examines the growth of public spending in the UK. Using empirical evidence, evidence from theory, and the results of economic modelling, the author considers the wider economic consequences of the current high level of public spending. It is clear from the analysis that UK public spending is well above optimal levels. Furthermore, there is regional injustice, as large amounts of money are transferred from England to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – to the detriment of both donor and recipient.
How can such a situation prevail? Why are politicians not interested in one of the key determinants of economic welfare? Why is it impossible to tell the policies of the main parties apart on this issue? David Smith analyses these questions too and proposes changes that would make it more likely that Britain could have a smaller government sector.