In the course of exploring the subject, we must consider a number of important issues. For example: What is the justiﬁcation for public spending as opposed to private spending on welfare? A related issue is that of the economic efﬁciency of public and private spending on welfare. Is public superior to private spending, or vice versa? Another issue is that of trends in welfare spending, over time, and in comparison with other countries. Another is the management and control of public spending and the roles of such institutions as the Treasury, spending departments and Parliament in this. Innovations such as the Welfare to Work programme, the introduction of tax credits and the attempt to regulate social policy agencies through Public Service Agreements have made the Treasury a key social policy agency. We also examine different forms of revenue-raising – income taxes, payroll taxes such as National Insurance, and taxes on consumption. Finally, we consider, brieﬂy, the taxing and spending policies of the Labour governments in ofﬁce since 1997.