Public expenditure

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on public expenditure. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

29.01.2016Scotland: Public spending and revenue
Public spending and taxation in Scotland was a hotly debated issue in the run up to the Scottish independence referendum, and has remained so since. A range of statistics exist on the subject: this note summarises what these say and how they are measured.
22.01.2016Government borrowing, debt and debt interest: statistics
This is a purely statistical note on public sector borrowing (the budget deficit), public sector debt and government debt interest payments.
22.01.2016Public Finances: Key Economic Indicators
Latest data on net borrowing and net debt.
07.01.2016Public sector employment by parliamentary constituency
This note analyses public sector employment by Parliamentary constituency.
17.12.2015The welfare cap
This policy limits the total amount that Government can spend on certain benefits, including tax credits and housing benefit. Not to be confused with the household benefits cap which limits the amount individual households can receive.
04.12.2015The Barnett formula
This briefing looks at how the Barnett formula works and includes a brief summary of the debate surrounding the formula.
03.12.2015The budget deficit: a short guide
This note aims to answer some FAQs related to the budget deficit.
30.11.2015Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015: a summary
Updated analysis of the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015.
20.11.2015Background to the 2015 Spending Review and Autumn Statement
Background to the joint 2015 Spending Review and Autumn Statement, which will be presented to Parliament on 25 November 2015.
17.11.2015Government borrowing and debt: international comparisons
This note provides international comparisons of government borrowing and debt from 2008 to 2020.

Lords Library Notes

16.07.2015Debate on the Budget Statement
This Library Note provides background information on the Budget Statement which was delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, on 8 July 2015. The Note provides a brief overview of some of the key Budget measures, before outlining the immediate reaction to the statement as expressed by members of the House of Commons and by a selection of organisations and commentators. It has been written to support the debate in the House of Lords on this subject scheduled to take place on 21 July 2015.
28.11.2014Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill (HL Bill 57 of session 2014-15)
This Library Note provides background reading ahead of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords on 2 December 2014.
08.08.2014Polling Data on the Scottish Independence Referendum
This Library Note-an update to a previous Note published on 23 June 2014-focuses on public opinion polling data in relation to the Scottish independence referendum.
19.06.2014Referendum on Scottish Independence
On 18 September 2014, Scotland will hold a referendum on whether it should be an independent country. This Library Note updates a previous Library Note, published on 27 January 2014, on the subject of the possible consequences of a 'Yes' vote. The Note aims to provide broad discussion of some of the main issues raised in connection with the subject, and lists possible sources for further reading.
20.03.2014Budget 2014: Reaction
This Library Note provides a brief summary of the key measures announced on 19 March 2014 in the Chancellor's Budget Statement.
12.07.2013Debate on 18 July: Role of Government in Generating Economic Prosperity and Employment
This Note outlines recent data on the performance of the UK economy, announcements by the Government for capital spending, spending on research and development and action to help businesses gain access to funding. It also looks at proposals for the Government to take more of a role in managing growth, in particular whether the UK needs a more coherent and long-term industrial strategy.

Select Committee Reports

19.12.2011Private finance initiative.
Government response. Treasury; Office for Budget Responsibility; National Audit Office; Treasury Select Committee report [Commons]
18.07.2011Lessons from PFI and other projects.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
18.07.2011Private finance initiative.
Treasury Select Committee report [Commons]
20.06.2011Budget 2011.
Government response. Treasury Select Committee; Treasury; Office for Budget Responsibility report [Commons]
27.04.2011Finance (No.
Treasury Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

10.01.2012GOVERNMENT TRADING FUNDS (S. I., 2011, No. 2884)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Central Office of Information Trading Fund (Revocation) Order2011(S.I., 2011, No. 2884), dated 29 November 2011, ...
That this House notes the concerns expressed in reports made by both the Public Accounts Committee and the Treasury Select Committee regardingevidence of tax avoidance being practised ...
That this House recognises the 11 and a half years service of Fabrizio Madeddu in the Member's Dining Room in the House of Commons; appreciates his excellent service and dedication ...
That this House notes with serious concern the Chancellor of the Exchequer's decision to purchase a new red dispatch box for this year's Budget at a cost of 4,300; believes the Chancellor ...
That this House expresses concern at comments made by the Deputy Prime Minister and others that givethe impression that the Liberal Democrat-controlled Sheffield City Council is managing ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses