The “What does the government spend our money on?” quiz results/discussion

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Money Saving Polls
49 replies 16.5K views
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Money Saving Polls
Poll between 22-28 July 2008.

The "What does the government spend our money on?" quiz.

Below are the main sections of the government's £618 billion (a thousand million) annual expenditure.

Which of these do you think the government currently spends the most money (£169bn) on?

You answered:

A. Debt Interest - 38% (2783 votes)
B. Defence (Armed forces) - 20% (1430 votes)
C. Education - 2% (141 votes)
D. Health - 15% (1052 votes)
E. Industry, agriculture, emloyment - 1% (86 votes)
F. Public Order & Safety (policing) - 1% (84 votes)
G. Social Protection (benefits, pensions) - 22% (1613 votes)
H. Transport - 1% (50 votes)

The actual figures were (highest to lowest):

Social protection £169 bn
Health £111 bn
Education £82 bn
Public order £33 bn
Defence £33 bn
Debt interest £31 bn
Industry, agriculture, unemployment £22 bn
Transport £21bn

This vote has now ended, but you can still click 'post reply' to discuss below. Thanks to everybody that took part :)

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Replies

  • El_Gordo_2El_Gordo_2 Forumite
    6 Posts
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
    I am so disappointed, or should that be utterly stunned, that so many people believe that the Armed Forces get so much money from our current government. :( Sadly how wrong they are!!

    I think the Armed Forces would be very happy with just a third of the £169 billion in the question. We actually get a remarkably good deal from Defence. At £30billion to £39 billion per year depending upon whether you use the real "cash" amount or the government/accountant fudged "resource accounting and budgeting" figure Defence receives one third of what the NHS gets. About 50% of what Education receives. God knows what % of the scivers and spongers budget Defence receives, but I think it's about 40%.
  • bps666bps666 Forumite
    7 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    El_Gordo wrote: »
    I am so disappointed, or should that be utterly stunned, that so many people believe that the Armed Forces get so much money from our current government. :( Sadly how wrong they are!!

    I think the Armed Forces would be very happy with just a third of the £169 billion in the question. We actually get a remarkably good deal from Defence. At £30billion to £39 billion per year depending upon whether you use the real "cash" amount or the government/accountant fudged "resource accounting and budgeting" figure Defence receives one third of what the NHS gets. About 50% of what Education receives. God knows what % of the scivers and spongers budget Defence receives, but I think it's about 40%.

    Gutted, that people in a forum dedicated to fiscal prudence, don't know enough about what old one eye gets up to, that many have drawn a conclusion that Defence tops the bill as far as HM Government spending goes! Last year the government (ie you me and the rest of the taxpaying community shelled out £169B on the workshy, sick, lame and lazy. Excluding the 'sick' and the 'lame' I am 'sick' to death of seeing my hard earned cash frittered away on the other two and personally I welcome the proposal that they should be made to earn their benefit (IMHO 4 weeks in a 2 year period doesn't go far enough!)

    Defence topped out at £32B last year!
  • Two good posts ^^^
    Pity there isn't an option on 'wasted billions on bureaucratic red tape / pc issues H&S etc not to mention millions wasted on computer systems that don't work 2012 Olympics and huge expense accounts of MPs. All non tangible I know, but 'collectively' they do contribute greatly towards a huge waste of billions. http://www.harriman-house.com/pages/book.htm?BookCode=22852


    How the Government Spends Your Money

    SECTION THREE - BIG PICTURE WASTE
    Devolved Government
    Local Government
    Information Technology
    Politicians
    Donated Asset Reserve
    The Public Sector
    Royal Family
    The European Union
  • fishumufishumu Forumite
    68 Posts
    bps666 wrote: »
    Defence topped out at £32B last year!

    lets see what the figure's like when the government spends £50Bn on trident 2 when it no doubt goes ahead in a few years.

    far too much is spent on arms stockpiling, when so many other areas need it more.

    But most of the money spent is on problems weve caused ourselves:

    Debt Interest - we only just paid back our massive debt to the US this year, which was created when the acting prime-minister didnt make a strong decision in 1949.
    Defence (Armed forces) - don't get me started on this, but I do support our boys abroad.
    Health - ciggy anyone?

    for a start...
    2008: CD, mags, book, golf glove,

    2007: Goodies; Tickets; DVDs; Books, Towel, Albums, Boxsets, £
    7 Nights in a Tahiti Resort, Flights, Spending + Half Board:eek:

  • beer_tinsbeer_tins Forumite
    1.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭
    Can we get some perspective please? The vast majority of this money spent on "scivers and spongers" goes to our pensioners. And even then it's just about enough to get by on.

    Also, the defence figures DON'T include the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, these are paid for on top of the defence budget. The UK has one of the highest levels of defence spending in the world. Arguably a lot of this is spent poorly though.
    Running Club targets 2010
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  • Rabiddog_2Rabiddog_2 Forumite
    418 Posts
    Yes Pensions are really the biggest single iTem and they are POOR by comparison to most other European Countrys. Why we spend so much on Defence is ludicrous, it should be halved, shelve all our Nuclear Forces and put that money into Clean Tech. That will pay back 10-fold in Oil imports saved, Jobs created and carbon emitted. I am shocked so many people believe that debt interest is the biggest Gov spend. It just goes to show most people have no real idea how the Govt works, as shown by the Idiot posters above.
    tribuo veneratio ut alius quod they mos veneratio vos
  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
    8.3K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    This thread is already getting off to a bad start. Discussion is great... name calling inappropriate, please keep it courteous.

    Thanks
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
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  • El_Gordo_2El_Gordo_2 Forumite
    6 Posts
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
    lets see what the figure's like when the government spends £50Bn on trident 2 when it no doubt goes ahead in a few years.
    Fishumu

    It wont jump. The headline figure that you have quoted would be the whole life cost of the system (the MOD works in whole life costs now, in fact has done for the last few years) and it comes out of the Defence budget. If Trident 2 comes into service, the £50B would be from the start of the programme ie about now to the day that the last element of the system is decommissioned ie some 40-50 years from now. Unless the government is prepared to add money to cover the additional cost of a new system - any system - (extremely unlikely) then the costs will come out of the existing budget, and that is stationary at just over £32billion for each of the next 3 years
    these are paid for on top of the defence budget.
    That is not strictly true. The vast majority of the cost of ongoing operations comes from the existing Defence budget. The MOD are only allowed to pay for certain elements from the government's reserve ie the cost of ammunition used or urgently required equipment ie the new armoured vehicles. Even then the Treasury will argue that as these are a necessary enhancement they should be funded from within the core defence budget and they will try to claim the money back from the defence budget. Incidentally I believe that if we have 4000 troops in Iraq then the government will include their pay in the cost of the operation, but of course they would be being paid anyway if they were in barracks on on peacetime exercises.

    Rabiddog
    Why we spend so much on Defence is ludicrous, it should be halved
    It might be ridiculous if we did spend £169 Billion on defence (actually £80 billion would solve a lot, if not all of the MODs problems) but of course we don't. If you don't believe me have a look at the HM Treasury website. You need to look at Table 1.13 Though to save you a bit of time 2008/09:

    NHS 92 billion
    Children, schools and family 49 billion
    Scotland 25 billion, Wales 13 billion and NI 9.5 billion
    Home office, justice and law 19 billion
    Work and pensions 7.5 billion
    Defence 32 billion

    If you voted for Defence in the poll you are well wide of the mark!

    PS I apologise if my comment about scivers and spongers offended, my aim was not the pensioners (my parents and grandparents are pensioners and they have worked all their lives), but at those that cost the State between 2 billion and 7 billion per year in benefit fraud. If all that was stopped/recovered we could afford to give the pensioners a decent pension!!
  • It's social protection all the way, and i'm totally gob smacked that peeps do know it - maybe they don't want to accept it!?

    Cheers

    KF
  • RTR_Bloke wrote: »
    millions wasted on computer systems that don't work

    I agree with you on MP's expenses, health & safety etc, but...

    The failed IT "systems" & costs you hear of are the few that don't work, bad news is always good for readers/viewers. You don't tend to hear of the project that modernise a local authority, moving staff away from desks onto the frontline & actually working for the public rather than filling in bits of paper. Nor the project that allows government departments to communicate securely & easily to (for example) allow a police officer to send his case notes to the CPS for the court case & the prison service information on a prisoner's behavior to be passed onto a probation officer to allow them to make the best judgement on rehabilitation for the offender.
    These projects save time, money & effort for the future of the departments involved, the costs of these are a large percentage of the overall spend on computer systems (failed contracts usually mean the government is re-imbursed for at least some of the costs).

    The real problems to me seem to be short-sightedness, money should have been invested in public transport, green energy & other things that have tangible benefits to the nation (& world) as a whole. Spend on education (in the correct areas) & public order spending should drop, it's a chicken & egg scenario, someone needs to be brave & take the first step, sadly that doesn't seem to be in many politicians psyche's!!
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