HC Deb 03 February 1998 vol 305 cc611-2W
Mr. Welsh

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what was the expenditure on education (a) in current prices and (b) as a percentage of United Kingdom gross domestic product in the relevant year in (i) 1968, (ii) 1979 and (iii) 1996–97. [26094]

Dr. Howells

The information requested is set out in the table:

1968–69 estimate 1978–79 outturn 1996–97 provisional outturn
Spending in real terms at 1997–98 prices £21½ billion £28.7 billion £37.9 billion
Spending as a proportion of GDP 5 per cent. 5.4 per cent. 4.9 per cent.

1. Figures for 1978–79 and 1996–97 are from PESA March 1997.

2. Cash figures for 1968–69 are not readily available. The spending figure for that year is an estimate based on a provisional outturn figure at 1969 survey prices which appears in Public Expenditure 1968–69 to 1973–74, December 1969. This figure includes spending on local authority libraries. Because of the difficulties in estimating a cash figure and in repricing to current prices, the spending figure for this year is rounded to the nearest half billion and the figure for spending as a proportion of GDP is rounded to the nearest ¼ per cent.