16. Mr. Ron Brown
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what percentage of the United Kingdom gross national product is spent on education compared with other European Economic Commission countries.
§ Mr. Macfarlane
In 1977–78 public expenditure on education in the United Kingdom amounted to 5.6 per cent. of the gross national product compared with an estimated 4.0 per cent. 5.2 per cent. and 5.8 per cent. for Germany, Italy and France respectively. Comparisons of this kind need to be treated with caution because of differences in the education systems and circumstances of individual countries.