During the years 1997-2007, there was a significant rise in government spending, though as a % of GDP the rise was less marked.
Source: ONS Public Sector Finances MF6U – October 2014
Government spending as a % of GDP
A more meaningful comparison is to look at the share of government spending as a % of GDP.
- In 1996-97 – Government spending as a % of GDP 40%
- In 2007/08 – Government spending – 41% of GDP
- In 2008/09 – 44.5 % of GDP
The large increase in government spending as a % of GDP in 2008/09 was a direct result of the deep recession. In a recession GDP falls, tax revenues fall and government spending on benefits rise.
Public sector debt
In 2007, UK public sector debt was close to a historical low ( post 1914) .
More detail at: UK national debt
A more detailed graph of that period. Shows that public sector debt went from 42% of GDP in 1997 to 50% by 2010.