Yesterday, it was reported that the UK Treasury has started sending out letters to British taxpayers which detail exactly how their taxes will be spent. While I thoroughly approve of this idea, the categorisation scheme used by the Treasury has come under fire from critics. In particular, it has been argued that the Treasury employed a misleadingly broad definition of welfare, possibly in an attempt to weaken public support for welfare spending.
I decided to graph the numbers myself, which were taken from Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis 2014. Social protection, the single largest category, has been disaggregated into Benefits, Pensions, and Other social protection (as recommended by the IFS); General public services, the fourth largest category, has been disaggregated into Debt interest and Other general public services. Incidentally, I find it remarkable that Law and order comprises only 4.4% of spending. It is also surprising to me how much goes toward Debt interest, and how little goes toward the EU.