Social spending

Social expenditure comprises cash benefits, direct in-kind provision of goods and services, and tax breaks with social purposes. Benefits may be targeted at low-income households, the elderly, disabled, sick, unemployed, or young persons. To be considered "social", programmes have to involve either redistribution of resources across households or compulsory participation. Social benefits are classified as public when general government (that is central, state, and local governments, including social security funds) controls the relevant financial flows. All social benefits not provided by general government are considered private. Private transfers between households are not considered as "social" and not included here. Net total social expenditure includes both public and private expenditure. It also accounts for the effect of the tax system by direct and indirect taxation and by tax breaks for social purposes. This indicator is measured as a percentage of GDP or USD per capita.

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Keywords: social expenditure, social expenses, social spending, welfare, social segurity