UK Government Revenue & Expenditure Statistics

Each year the government collects and distributes billions of pounds worth of revenue from UK citizens – it is the nation’s most important source of revenue. But how much revenue did they receive in 2019/20? And what sectors does the government spend the most money on?

To better understand the UK government’s finances over the last year, we compiled some key facts, figures, and statistics about the UK government’s revenue and the UK government’s spending including:

  • How much tax revenue the UK government collects
  • Sources of UK government revenue
  • How much the UK government spends each year
  • Government spending by sector
  • Government spending on pensions and benefits
  • Government spending on the Coronavirus pandemic response.

We collected the data from statistical reports and industry reports, alongside our own research, to uncover some very interesting insights into government spending in the UK.

Here’s what we found:

UK Government Tax Revenue Statistics

How much tax revenue does the UK government collect each year?

In 2019/20, HMRC tax receipts in the UK totalled £634.64 billion.

Since 2000/01, HMRC tax receipt totals have increased by £319 billion.

In 2019/20 income tax receipts in the United Kingdom amounted to £194 billion.

Since 2000/01, this total has increased by £89 billion.

In 2020/21, the UK Government is expected to receive £873 billion of public sector current receipts.

  • £208 billion will come from Income Tax, £161 billion from VAT, and £150 billion from National Insurance contributions.
  • Business rates make up the smallest portion of the total, with only £32 billion.

UK government revenue from environmental taxes totalled around £51.7 billion in 2019.

UK government revenue from pollution and resource taxes totalled over £1.2 billion in 2019.

  • This figure has seen a slight decrease each year since 2016.

UK government revenue from energy taxes totalled over £38.1 billion in 2019.

  • This figure has been steadily increasing since 1997.

UK Government Expenditure Statistics

How much does the UK government spend each year?

Government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) in the United Kingdom was at 35.4% in 2019/20.

  • This was an increase of 0.4% compared to the previous year.
  • 2019/20 was the first time since 2010/11 that spending as a percentage of GDP has increased.

In 2020, the expenditure of the UK government is expected to be around £928 billion.

  • The highest-spending sector is expected to be social protection, with £285 billion, including pensions and welfare benefits.
  • Government spending on health is expected to be the second-highest, with £178 billion.
  • Education is the third-highest spending sector, with £116 billion.
  • Industry, agriculture and employment make up the lowest spending sector, with just £30 billion expected to be spent.

UK Government Spending by Sector

How much does the UK government spend each year in different sectors?

UK Government Spending on Education:

  • Government expenditure on tertiary education in 2019/20: £4.73 billion
  • Government expenditure on primary education in 2019/20: £31.67 billion
  • Government expenditure on secondary education in 2019/20: £46.5 billion

Government spending on education in the UK was at £92.4 billion in 2019/20.

  • This was an increase of £4.3 billion when compared with the previous year.
  • Government spending on education reached a peak in 2010/11, with £107.1 billion spent in real terms.

UK Government Spending on Infrastructure:

  • Government expenditure on roads in 2019/20: £10.94 billion
  • Government expenditure on waste management in 2019/20: £8.85 billion

The UK Government spent approximately £17.8 billion on railways in 2019/20 compared with £18.25 billion in the previous year.

In 2019/20, government spending on local public transport equalled £3.46 billion.

  • This was the highest it’s been since 2010/11 when expenditure was at £3.63 billion.
  • During this time, government expenditure on public transport was at its highest in 2009/10, when the government spent £3.9 billion.

UK Government Spending on Services:

  • Government expenditure on police services in 2019/20: £18.53 billion
  • Government expenditure on fire-protection services in 2019/20: £3 billion
  • Government expenditure on civil defence in 2019/20: £46 billion

In 2019/20, Government spending on police services in the UK rose to £18.54 billion.

  • This was the highest amount spent since 2011/12 when police spending was at £18.24 billion.
  • Between 2009/10 and 2013/14, government expenditure on policing fell from £19.3 billion to just £16.35 billion due to austerity policies in policing.

In 2019/20, the UK government spent around £96 million on communication.

  • Government spending on communication peaked in 2012/13 at £770 million, before steadily declining to the present day.

UK Government Spending on Pension & Benefits

How much does the UK government spend each year on pension and benefits?

The UK government spent £98.81 billion in 2019/20 on the state pension.

In 2019/20, the UK government spent approximately 1.3 billion on the Jobseekers Allowance.

  • This is down from £1.67 billion spent in 2018/19
  • Government spending on the Jobseekers Allowance peaked in 2012/13, reaching £5.17 billion.

UK Government Coronavirus Expenditure

How much has the UK government spent on response policies related to the Coronavirus pandemic?

Almost £100 billion will be spent by the UK government on Coronavirus policy responses to the pandemic in 2020/21.

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is the most costly policy at £42 billion.
  • Almost all of the coronavirus policies relate to securing the economy.

The NHS is expected to receive an extra £10 billion in funding during the pandemic.


Sources: Statista