Image copyright Getty Images Government spending is likely to head back towards 1970s levels over the next parliament whichever party wins the general election, research suggests.
Think tank the Resolution Foundation said both Labour and the Conservatives were planning big increases in the size of the state.But it said they faced huge questions over how they would pay for it.The Conservatives said they were focusing on peoples priorities. Labour has been contacted for a response.
Is this really the end of austerity?UK borrowing up by a fifth over past six monthsA really simple guide to the UK general electionThe 1970s are often described as a period of economic turmoil for the UK, with public spending soaring during the decade. Manifestos for the 12 December general election have not been published yet.
But the Resolution Foundation, which aims to promote higher living standards for people on low and middle incomes, based its estimates on what the main parties have promised to date, as well as the underlying trends affecting the UK economy.Conservative plansIt said that if the Conservatives won and simply maintained current spending levels - which were recently raised - then public spending as a share of the economy was likely to climb to 41.
3% by 2023-4. Image copyright Leon Neal Image caption Chancellor Sajid Javid is pumping money into public services that were problematic for the Conservatives at the last election That would be well above the average of 37.
4% seen in the two decades running up to the financial crisis of 2007-8, and marginally below the 42% seen between 1966 and 1984. However, any further spending increases on areas like the NHS would take it above the 1970s average, the Resolution Foundation said. Labour plansIf Labour won the election, by contrast, the think tank said government spending as a share of GDP was likely to rise to 43.
3% by 2023-4. That assumes the party would re-commit to the £48.6bn of extra spending it promised in its 2017 manifesto, while investing billions extra in capital infrastructure projects.This would mean the size of the state under Labour being significantly above the 1970s average, the Resolution Foundation said.
Image copyright EPA Image caption John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn want to invest more in infrastructure .