Putting the cuts into context: where is that £6 billion going to come from?

With the UK election over, reductions in public spending are currently at the top of the agenda. Whichever way you cut it, taxpayers and public service users look set to face big changes. The ‘Where Does My Money Go?’ dashboard – a free, interactive online tool from the Open Knowledge Foundation – will help to make sense of the £6 billion of spending cuts to be announced on Monday.

The project allows the public to explore data on UK public spending over the past 6 years, in an intuitive way using maps, timelines and graphs. The latest release includes:

  • A new mini-app called ‘Where are the cuts?‘ which will capture and visualise spending cuts as they happen.
  • A new dashboard for visualising and exploring spending by region, type or over time – breaking down the jargon to make it easier to understand official spending categories.
  • A new Where Does My Money Go? data store. This houses all the cleaned-up, nicely formatted data, sourced from many different government departments, and makes it available both via the web and and an API, enabling others to reuse, investigate and re-present the data.

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In addition to new information about the spending cuts, the Where Does My Money Go? project plans to represent detailed information from the COINS database, the ‘holy grail’ of spending data, which George Osborne committed to publishing shortly after this election.

Dr Rufus Pollock, Economist from the University of Cambridge and Director of the Open Knowledge Foundation, comments:

It is crucial that the public are able to understand how they will be affected by the cuts to be announced on Monday – which depends on having a ‘bigger picture’ of where spending currently goes. We will be working hard to show the implications of spending cuts as they are announced and to track speculation about where cuts will be made in the future. Our project aims to close the loop between public information on spending and the public.