HC Deb 27 April 1988 vol 132 cc173-4W
Mr. Blair

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much purchasing by Government and other public bodies is accounted for in the United Kingdom's gross domestic product; what estimates he has of the amount of public purchasing contracts by Government and other public sector bodies awarded to United Kingdom firms; and what estimates he has of comparable figures for other European Community countries.

Mr. Butcher

[holding answer 25 April 1988]: Based on national accounts data, United Kingdom public sector final expenditure on goods and services (but excluding wages and salaries) and fixed assets in 1987 accounted for about one eighth of gross domestic product at market prices. Comparative information for European Community countries, which is on a slightly different basis and limited to general Government (that is, central and local government), is set out in the table.

United Kingdom firms account for about 98 per cent. of the value of United Kingdom Government contract advertised and awarded under European Community/ GATT rules, with about 94 per cent. of goods and services supplied being of United Kingdom origin. Comparable figures are not readily available for other public bodies in the United Kingdom or public sectors in other European Community countries.

General Government final expenditure as percentage of gross domestic product
per cent. Year
United Kingdom 10.2 1984
Belgium 6.6 1984
Denmark 9.5 1984
France 7.3 1984
Germany 11.6 1984
Greece n/a
per cent. Year
Ireland 11.3 1983
Italy 9.4 1984
Luxembourg 15.4 1982
Netherlands 7.8 1984
Portugal 7.5 1981
Spain 5.4 1982


1. Gross domestic product is at market prices.

2. With the exception of Germany, for which OECD data have been used, figures are derived from the latest EUROSTAT publication, with the year to which they relate indicated.

3. Figures for certain current receipts and sales of fixed assets are netted off in the published expenditure figures.