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The planning and control of public expenditure, 1993-2015


Governments are responsible for spending huge amounts of public money. Effective control of that spending is essential if governments are to meet their fiscal objectives, deliver their desired policy outcomes, and achieve value for money for the taxpayer. A new IFS report, published today as part of a wider study of the history of public expenditure control, uses more than twenty years of data to analyse the planning and control of public expenditure between 1993 and 2015.

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The last 25 years have seen two periods of public expenditure restraint in the UK (the 1990s and the 2010s) and one period of increased spending (between 2000 and 2010). Over that whole time, the Treasury has been responsible for controlling government spending, setting fiscal rules and the overall ...