Superb data-visualization of UK government spending

Yishay sez, "The good people of the Open Knowledge Foundation have just released a prototype of their visualisation tool for UK gov spending. This on the same week that the government announced radical plans for opening their data. Open data needs to be seen, not just done."

I'm loving this: you can click on any of those dots (on the actual web-page) to see what it represents. The slider moves you back and forth year-to-year. It's an amazing way of visualizing public spending.

Where Does My Money Go? (Thanks, Yishay!)


  1. That’s pretty cool. What’s amazing to me is how much less of its budget goes towards defense — about 5% compared with somewhere between 20% and 54% (according to this) that the US spends.

    Of course, a cynic would say that they can afford to pay so little because the US is picking up the slack. (NB: I don’t believe that.)

  2. Compare that to the Death and Taxes poster for the US and it’s astounding how little the UK (or how much the US) spends on Defense.

  3. That’s actually a very good prioritization of spending, IMO. The only thing I think should get more is Environment Protection, given the imminent danger we face, but otherwise, we in the US could do a lot better if we followed this kind of budget.

    And the infographic is awesome. Very intuitive, very informative.

  4. Yes, very interesting about the Defence budget. A nice contrast to third world countries where people are dropping dead from starvation and the complete absence of public health programs (inoculations, AIDS programs and so on) and the military gets 90% of the budget: which it mostly spends on killing citizens. See North Korea, pre-invasion Iraq et al.

    A bit misleading about agriculture though. Agricultural barriers to trade usually treble the cost of food without increasing quality or quantity so in a sense this is another place “where your money goes” without it being a direct tax. Kills a lot of people in countries whose only chance at trade is agricultural trade also. So that if you grow more than you can eat it just gets thrown out or piles up to become bandit bait since no one in the industrialised nations will buy anything you produce.

Comments are closed.