In my commentary on the 2010 and 2011 budgets I pointead out that the large cash increases in total current spending meant it was likely there would continue to be real growth in this spending. Most other commentators talked about deep cuts.
Now I have a new ally in arguing this case. The government and the Office of Budget Responsibility tell us that real public spending rose by 1.5% in 2010, by 0,3% in 2011 and is forecast to rise by another 0.5% this year. Of course there are individual cuts, to help pay for the increases in health, overseas aid, EU spending and the other growing areas. It is however importtant to understand that there has been and still is a rise in overall current spending, not just in cash terms but also after allowing for inflation.
I also said after previous budgets that I thought the forecast for such a huge tax revenue rise over the five years was optimistic. It is interesting that the government now agrees with this, and has cut the forecast by 13%.