HC Deb 12 February 1991 vol 185 cc397-8W
Mr. Ridley

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the change in public spending, in real terms, between 1979 and 1990, expressed as a percentage in(a) the national health service, (b) the social security programme, (c) local authority education spending, (d) higher and further education expenditure, (e) subsidies to councils and housing, (f) associations in pursuit of providing cheap housing for the less well-off, (g) housing benefit, (h) rate rebates and community charge rebates and (i) the arts; and if he will also give the real-terms increase in the gross national product over the same period.

Mr. Norman Lamont

Information is not readily available in exactly the form requested. Information is, however, available on general Government expenditure by function over this period and is given in tables 2.2—cash figures—and 2.3—real terms figures—of the "Statistical Supplement to the 1990 Autumn Statement"—Cm 1520. The percentage changes between 1979–80 and 1990–91 in the real-term figures for the functions covering items listed in the question are as follows:

Per cent.
Health +37
Social Security +35
Education and Science +16
Housing -54
Arts and libraries +38

Information on individual components within each function could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

A forecast of the gross national product for 1990–91 is not readily available to allow the corresponding percentage change to be calculated. Based on the autumn statement forecast for 1990–91, gross domestic product is estimated to have risen by about 25 per cent. in real terms over the period 1979–80 to 1990–91.

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