It's not always in the Government's best interests to let us know exactly how our tax pounds are spent. There have been cases, for example, of people threatening to withhold the amount that goes on defence in protest against arms sales or the war in Iraq.
But within the next few years we will all know exactly how much of our wage packet is spent on everything from defence to the environment, as George Osbourne will tell us in tomorrow's budget.
Well, the official answer is those two well-known Government twins, Accountability and Transparency who often pop up these days. Unofficially, the Chancellor believes it will change how we look at public spending and may sway the public to support spending cuts and lower taxes.The example we used on Daybreak this morning was a viewer earning £15,000. He takes home around £12,500 and the rest is divided up between all the different coffers scattered around the Treasury and usually kept hidden behind an invisibility cloak.
So Mr A Viewer will soon see that over £800, by far the largest chunk, goes on "Welfare". Just over half that amount is earmarked for "Health" with decreasing amounts in the large departments such as "Defence" and much smaller ones like " "Environment". It's quite startling to see it presented in black and white and will raise eyebrows across the country and certainly add to the already solid public support for tackling the spending on welfare and benefits for example.We all grumble about how much we pay the taxman (and woman!) about as often as we complain about the weather.
Soon we will be able to grumble in considerable detail.