To what extent does the government budget/statement reflect current government priorities?

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To what extent does the government budget/statement reflect current government priorities?

In this study I will be investigating the extent to which the governments budget statement reflects their spending on current priorities, such as the NHS, Defence and Education.

To do this I will be researching changes in spending using the current budget statement (2007) and also other secondary data resources to find out the total percentage of the governments budget is spent on specific areas, such as housing, defence, public transport etc. I aim to find out how much spending in these areas has increased in recent years, or indeed whether spending has decreased over recent years.

Priority One: The Environment.

The environment, or more precisely protecting it is a key concern for today’s government, and an issue that they appear to be trying to combat.

In the 2007 budget the government announced an 800million pound window for the environment transformation fund, this is to finance overseas development programmes that deliver both poverty reduction and environment benefits in developing counties.

The government is also increasing the funds available through the Low Carbon Buildings Programme, to a total of over 18million pounds. This is to help meet the demands for households for microgeneration technologies.

This extra funding combined with other funding towards housing and the environment has increased the total spending from £21billion in 2006 to £22billion in 2007.


This research would indicate that the current government spending in environment does reflect the fact that it is one of their priorities. The government have clearly made substantial progress in dedicating more of the budget towards environment, even within the last three years. If you compare the efforts made towards improving the environment in the 2005 budget with the ones made in the 2007 it becomes clear just how much the government have started to invest in overseas projects etc.

However although they have significantly increased the spending in recent years, spending in areas such as social protection and health have been increased by significantly more than spending on the Environment, this may indicate that the government do not prioritise the Environment perhaps as much as some people argue they should.

Priority two: Employment, Training and Education.

The government claims to be making changes in order to improve employment ( e.g. better training for people who have been out of work for a long period of time etc).

Some of their aims regarding employment are:

  • continuing to make in work credit available to lone parents until June 2008, benefiting over 250.000 lone parents.
  • A four week run-on in entitlement to working tax credit from the day that a previously eligible claimant ceases to work 16 hours.

There are many more aims, most revolving around training schemes (especially for people who’ s second or other language is English), or helping to get people who have been out of work for a long time back into work.

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With the UK economy becoming ever more revolving around qualifications, the need to have a well-trained and educated workforce becomes vital. This without a doubt makes it one of the government’s main priorities, the latest example of this being Labours intention to raise the minimum school leaving age to 18, by offering apprenticeships, college courses, or work based training to every child. This would clearly require a increase in the budget allocated for education, which the government has provided.

  • In the 2007 budget report the government announced investment in education and skills in the UK ...

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