Politics and Governance in the UK

Second edition

by Michael Moran

Extra Resources - Chapter 20

A great study of the key place of taxation in resource raising is Steinmo (1993); it has the added merit of dealing with Britain alongside other leading nations. Heclo and Wildavsky (1974) was the standard study of public spending policy until the appearance of Thain and Wright (1995), which remains the best modern study of public spending policy. But chapter 7 of Grant (2002), though short, is outstanding for the beginner. Indeed virtually all of Grant is very good for the subject of this chapter. Dilnot and Emerson (2000) summarise the evidence about the long term rise of government as an appropriator of resources. Crafts et al (1991) have an overview of the economy and its management. Goodin and Le Grand (1987) though now obviously dated, is still the best introduction to the vexed question of whether the provision of public goods contributes to equality. Barr (2001) is on similar themes but more general; but Hills (2004) and Hills and Falkingam (1995) are vital.

The best web site for this chapter, and perhaps the best single web site for any serious student of what British government does, is provided by the independent think tank, the Institute for Fiscal Studies www.ifs.org.uk. As the age of public spending austerity unfolds it will be the essential guide; but see also the Treasury site, www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/.