Discussion paper

DP259 The Ghost of PAR? Public Expenditure Planning Beyond Plowden

The current control system for public expenditure in the United Kingdom dates from the Plowden Report in 1961 and was developed for a public utilities model. This paper presents detailed evidence on changes in the composition of public expenditure. A new control system is proposed that is better suited to new patterns of public expenditure, in which social investment and transfer payments have become much more important. Information on expenditure could be presented in a new fashion, broken down according to client groups and covering the whole span of public initiative, including tax expenditures and regulation as well as public expenditure. It would also be possible to relate future public expenditure commitments to projections of income and economic activity on a cohort basis.


Bosanquet, N (1988), ‘DP259 The Ghost of PAR? Public Expenditure Planning Beyond Plowden‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 259. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp259