mandatory spending programme

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The part of government spending which the government is legally obliged to carry out. This is contrasted with discretionary spending, where the government is empowered to spend in certain ways but is left with discretion as to the detailed composition of spending and possibly its total. For example, spending on pensions or judges' salaries is usually mandatory, while placing contracts for defence equipment is usually discretionary, subject to a limit on the total spent.

Subjects: Economics.

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