Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Government Expenditure

Here is central, local and total government expenditure in Ireland in 2009.

Total Government Expenditure

It should be noted that local government is part-funded by a grant from central government.  In 2009 this totalled €6,737 million so central government expenditure is actually €69,163 million but to avoid double counting this transfer is excluded from the above table and the money is counted as local government expenditure.

With GDP measured at €159.6 billion in 2009, total government expenditure equates to 47.1% of GDP.  The equivalent GNP figures are €131.2 billion and a staggering 57.3%.  Is there a higher figure in any country?

We just saw that government revenue in 2009 was somewhere around €56.4 billion. A simple subtraction shows us that there was a deficit of around €19 billion in 2009.  This figure is in the public domain.  The process of getting there is, unfortunately, less widespread.

I do not put much value in the division of government expenditure by Department or Vote.  These are not really comparable and are subject to the transfer of functions and agencies between votes.  The CSO data above tells us what the money was used for, the following table of data from the OECD shows us the functions that year’s €76.4 billion of expenditure was used on.

Expenditure Functions

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