HC Deb 20 May 1968 vol 765 cc44-5W
Mr. Driberg

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state, from figures obtainable from that organisation, which member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development consumed a larger proportion than the United Kingdom of their gross national product, at market prices, on Government civil current expenditure.

Mr. Harold Lever

In 1966, the latest year for which figures are available, Government civil current expenditure on goods and services expressed as a proportion of gross national product was higher than in the United Kingdom in Austria, Denmark, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

If the concept of civil current expenditure is extended to include transfers to households (e.g. social security benefits and similar payments) as well as goods and services, the countries with a higher proportion than the United Kingdom were Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

Some countries have been omitted either because their figures were not up-to-date or in insufficient detail. For this reason the first comparison above takes no account of the figures for Greece, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Spain or Turkey, while the second comparison excludes these six countries and also Iceland and Portugal.