New times, new thinking
At the beginning of the 20th century, Britain spent just 12 per cent of its national output on public services and welfare support. By the onset of the financial crisis in 2008, it spent 40 per cent. In common with most other advanced economies, Britain underwent a huge expansion of public spending during the 20th century. It was a societal transformation to which labour movements and their political parties were midwives, defining the core of their political identities.