With many thanks to the Daily Dish in the US for providing the inspiration, Mehdi Hasan at the New Statesman magazine for bringing it to my attention, and www.ukpublicspending.co.uk and www.statistics.co.uk for the data, I present below a breakdown of UK central government and local authority spending for 2010 on a per-taxpayer basis:
There are a number of short-comings in this analysis. Firstly, it assumes that everyone over the age of sixteen contributes equally to government expenditure when this is clearly not the case. One potential way of adjusting for this would be to deduct the total number of benefit claimants; however, this would clearly ignore the contribution they make to the government via VAT and excise duty on their spending. Consequently, the only manner to calculate the average individual contribution is to calculate the VAT and excise duty on payable on the annual shopping basket of the average benefit claimant, in order to net this off against the Welfare/Social Security budget.
It does however make for very interesting reading and could be useful in finding areas to cut spending.
- A Taxpayer Receipt (andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com)