July 30th, 2013

No Interest in New Government Spending Website

GIST is the government’s new spending website, the beta version of which is up today. On the surface it all looks very sharp and transparent, showing you how much each government department has spent in each quarter and allowing you to click through to more detailed information. There is one thing they clearly don’t want taxpayers to find out about however. 

For some reason there is no big, colourful box for the government’s debt interest payments. This year’s debt interest payment is £47.1 billion. Per quarter, that would be the fifth largest square on the table above. All we get are vague non-explanations such as “reducing the structural deficit in a fair and responsible way: £26 million”. Which means absolutely nothing. Hashtag transparency…



  1. 1
    LB says:

    THe debt is missing too.

    They don’t put pensions in the accounts for the obvious reason. It would show up they are bust.

  2. 2
    Centre Parting says:

    Welsh assembly £4.4bn ? Why?

  3. 3
    Praise jeebus says:

  4. 4
    statswonk says:

    hmm – nice link. Digging shows:


    n/a -£11,272m




    So something they aren’t saying gives us £11bn and something else is worth £17bn more than they thought?

  5. 5
    Anonymous says:

    They do put pensions in the accounts. They are broken down within the DwP section

  6. 6
    Bob Diamond Geezer says:

    Gov figures in whitewash shock? But the underlying reality is that in the last 30 years under both political parties we have moved from a large state to well a large state except increasingly the functions of the state are being passed to unelected corporations like Serco. This gets government out of paying pensions to civil servants but as these companies want to make profits we the taxpayer pay as much as before. The debt stays the same.

  7. 7
    dai mcshane says:

    are you alleging* false accounting gf?

    *george dubya bush might have malapropped ‘allegating’

  8. 8
    DtP says:

    Chris Bryant’s legal fees for all the super injunctions he’s got out.

  9. 9
    Sir William Wade says:

    It tells how much each Government department spends but not how they spend it, which is what we would like to know.

  10. 10
    Anonymous says:

    Funny that the biggest box is DWP. So everyone looking at that will think its all about unemployed scroungers. Yet less than ten per cent is unemployment welfare. The rest is pensions and topping up low wages in tax credits. Misleading as normal to make a case for more welfare cuts in the wrong areas.

  11. 11
    dai laughing says:

    a leopard can’t change its stripes

  12. 12
    Anonymous says:

    No, all the figures are broken down by department. The box doesn’t use the word “unemployment”.

  13. 13
    Anonymous says:

    Perfect example of how NOT to present data to the public.

    There are two types of money involved: money controlled by a department (expenditure managed by) and that spent by a department (cost of delivery)

    Why mix them up?

    We need to know where the money ends up, not who handles it.

    If it pays for HMRC staff then that is an end. If it pays a pension then that is the end. Hiding one figure, that is too large, inside another, that is much too large, is not helpful. It does however show that they have not got a clue what openness requires.

  14. 14
    Sir William Wade says:

    1. The US Government did indeed use information on people’s ethnicity to round up and intern innocent US citizens who happened to be of Japanese descent, in 1941 and 1942.

    2. Increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide has, so far, proved to have no discernible effect on climate, if observations by the Met Office, the Hadley Centre and the Goodard space institute are to be believed. This may change, of course.

    3. The idea that attributing of public disorder in ethnic divisions is either incorrect in fact, or tends to perpetuate ethnic stereotyping, is at least reasonable.

    Ms Bachman has other ideas that are indefensible, but this clip tells you more about the prejudices of those who compiled itbthan about hers.

    Do you agree, please?

    So I think this video

  15. 15
    Living in 97.223% white Merseyside says:

    As long as my bennies and pensions keep flowing in I don’t care about Government finances.

  16. 16
    Anonymous says:

    Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service : -£218m

    Money making enterprise.

  17. 17

    We could not attribute an April Fool’s Day to cover the shambolic Governments achievements it must be a Year and still counting .The Bedroom Tax came into force in April so did the New Health Emergency Helpline and as expected with all Greedy Tory Policies with it being privatised it was a total shambles .They blame teething problems ,if the Tories could sell BS the economy would never be in any difficulty.Questions asked before an ambulance was dispatched was in place 15 years ago.Avon & Somerset Police Force sold to IBM ,so don’t expect a copper a computer printout will arrive by fax.The Tax man is to be quizzed by non other than the offshore account holding MP’s they should be targeting .More erosion of Freedom is on the horizon with Terrorism now creeping into the curbs on the web.But the Tories always give us something back – we can park on double yellow lines to help boost High Street Trade.http://brokenbritishpolitics.simplesite.com

  18. 18
    Toxic Taffy says:

    Because we’re worth it…

  19. 19
    a lifeform says:

    friend of mine spent the war interned within US of A because of Japanese descent and has been a bit pissed with authority since.
    Concerning the global warming it has been said that high altitude particle pollution from aircraft is reflecting the sun’s rays and counterbalancing the greenhouse effect. so keep those planes in the air folks.

  20. 20
    a lifeform says:

    is it safe to turn youtube.com/embed back on ?

  21. 21
    IT Contractor says:

    Thankfully they don’t show how much I’ve trousered working on govt. IT shambles. £1,200/day really tots up after 20 years.

  22. 22
    Four-eyed English Genius says:

    How come all the regional governments are allowed to cost more than the armed forces? I know which I would rather have.

  23. 23
    Concrete Jungle says:

    The race is on to see who can cover the country in concrete at the fastest pace

    They use the word Interrogating – do so at will

  24. 24
    Antipo-dean says:

    If anyone actually reads this then there should be some hard questions asked. DWP, for instance, spent £250 million on ‘N/A’ in the March quarter, £15 million on ‘Lending to Central Government’ (WTF???), £496k on ‘Notional Costs’, whatever that is, £98 million capital expenditure on ‘Intangible Assets’ (!). DfE spent £3.1 billion on ‘n/a’, DCLG spent £271 million on ‘n/a’… it’s still not exactly transparent.

    But the biggest gripe about this exercise is that most of it doesn’t really tell you what the money was spent on. For most departments, the level of detail stops at ‘Pay’, or ‘Purchase of Goods and Services’ or ‘Grants to Local Governments’, or DWP’s ‘Grants to Private Households.’ There is no indication of what particular programmes cost, or how much is spent on union facility time or equality officers.

    The ‘Cost per head of UK population’ for each item is a nice touch, but I can’t help feel it’d work better if we know that every person in the UK spend £75 in the March quarter on equality officers or telephone sanitisers or whatever.

  25. 25
    Break Up The Union says:

    We want Indepenedence but someone else as got to pay for it

  26. 26
    Anonymous says:

    No transparency at all. Starting point for transparency has to be open data. I want o be able to drill-down to transactions. Rather than arrogant assumptions of what we might want to see, let us decide and model the data for ourselves. This bunch of toffee-nosed twits rather think (wish) their public are too stupid to do so.

  27. 27
    lojolondon says:

    I wondered why the HMRC was the third biggest spender of our cash in some quarters – then I realised – child benefits, tax credits etc. more dishonesty by Gordon Brown, shamefully continued by the current government. All should clearly be allocated to Welfare / DWP to give an honest picture!

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