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This briefing paper gives figures on the level of public spending in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  It also gives figures for the English regions. 

In 2020/21, public spending per person in the UK as a whole was £13,414. In England, it was £13,166 (2% below the UK average).  This compares with:

  • Scotland: £14,842 (11% above the UK average)
  • Wales: £14,222 (6% above the UK average)
  • Northern Ireland £15,357 (14% above the UK average).

Among the English regions, public spending per person was lowest in the East Midlands at £12,133 (10% below the UK average) and highest in London at £15,490 (15% higher than the UK average).

The data shown are for public spending per person and are taken from HM Treasury’s Country and regional analysis: 2021, which contains more detailed information including spending by function (health, education etc).

Spending figures for 2020/21 reflect the unusual spending situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and are different in some respects from spending patterns in previous years.


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