UK public spending since 1963 | News | guardian.co.uk

I’m a little confused by the subheading of this article: “Government spending has spiralled. See how much it has increased”.

But you could show the price of a loaf of bread, and how it’s changed since 1963 and, even if it’s stayed the same in real terms, it would also have “spiralled”.

The figures seem to show spending hasn’t actually changed much as a percentage of GDP, so is it right to say it’s “spiralling”?

It is certainly possible that, even taking inflation into account, spending has increased. For example, using the GDP Deflator indicator on this calculator, £12bn in 1963 is the same as £190bn in 2008, so £620bn is indeed a big increase. But I’m not an economist and I’ve no idea if that is the correct indicator to use in this case.

Instead of simply presenting raw data under an over-dramatic and possibly inaccurate headline, and asking readers to “mash them up”, why not do a little more work and present them in a more meaningful context? Explain. That way we can derive some useful information from them.

17 May 2010 in Photos

17 May 2010 at Twitter

  • 8:00pm: @mik3yb Yes, I'm booked for the St Bride Library conference thing. Sounds like a good way to spend a couple of days.
  • 11:39am: St. Bride conference: http://bit.ly/cokUuI Wolfgang Weingart, Petr van Blokland, crazy unknown talent... (via several) Looks good.
  • 7:10am: Felt good to be back in the saddle. Well, swimming trunks.
  • 7:10am: @DeanVipond I meant more that I want to see shows about, say, the 1980s that don't feature the same songs, TV, faces as every other doc.
  • 7:09am: @DeanVipond Mad Men drove me, er, mad, with all its "Hey look, I'm being really sexist / smoking / drinking at work, IT'S THE 1960S!"

17 May 2010 in Links

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  1. Saloon (17)
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  4. The Field Mice (9)
  5. Michael Jackson (6)
  6. Kode9 & The Spaceape (3)
  7. Zomby (3)
  8. Burial (3)
  9. Pomplamoose (2)
  10. Samiyam (2)

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