The Conservative Party and public expenditure

Nick Ellison

in The Conservative Party and social policy

Published by Policy Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9781847424334
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303718 | DOI:
The Conservative Party and public expenditure

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This chapter explores the Conservative Party's attitudes to public expenditure since 1945, highlighting the two key periods of sustained Conservative rule, 1951–64 and 1979–97. The argument, put briefly, is that Conservative attitudes to public spending have been rather more ‘ambivalent’ over the years than the party's embedded scepticism about the benefits of public expenditure would suggest. It starts by giving some basic information about public spending. Additionally, the chapter demonstrates how difficult it is for governments to reduce public spending. It is quite possible that the apparent success with which the Coalition government managed to transform what was originally a private-sector banking crisis into a crisis of the public sector means that the way has been cleared for a sustained assault on public spending.

Keywords: public spending; Conservative Party; Conservative rule; Coalition government; Conservative attitudes

Chapter.  7513 words. 

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