Briefing Note (BN119)

The changing composition of public spending

Date: 10 August 2011
DOI: 10.1920/bn.ifs.2011.00119

This analysis finds that the shape of the state today is very different from that of 30 years ago. Going forward, spending on health, pensions and long term care is set to rise fast. Just these elements of spending, excluding all the welfare benefits paid to non-pensioners, will reach half of all public spending over the next 50 years unless there is significant reform or unless total spending is significantly increased.