Follow the Money (Paperback)
  • Follow the Money (Paperback)

Follow the Money (Paperback)

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Paperback 320 Pages
Published: 18/01/2024
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Waterstones Says

Absolutely essential reading for anybody interested in how the government spends the £1 trillion it costs to run the country, this rigorously researched and authoritative volume by the Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies analyses the effects of austerity and the pandemic on the UK's finances.

Paul Johnson and the enormously respected Institute for Fiscal Studies aim to hold Government to account - without which politicians will get away with their half-truths, elisions and dubious claims.

This is a forensic examination - by the man best placed to do so - of the way the state raises and spends £1 trillion of our money every year. To follow the money. To provide an explanation, of where that money comes from and where it goes to, how that has changed and how it needs to change.

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
ISBN: 9780349144665
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 260 g
Dimensions: 196 x 126 x 28 mm


This book is the antidote to naivety that our political class needs. Anyone, in fact, who has strong views about how society should be run would benefit from reading it, because every political ambition costs money and as Johnson writes, "someone has to pay for all this"... The story he tells may leave you reeling... Johnson's buoyant yet acerbic style will keep you engaged. The sobering realities he lays out are peppered with entertaining asides - Book of the Week, Sunday Times

So gripping and horrifying that it should probably come with a trigger warning: readers may find the content concerning the state of their country's governance upsetting... Given its subject matter, the book is a surprisingly easy read. That's thanks to Johnson's clear, witty prose. Few other writers could produce such a palatable explanation of the system of local government finance or make their readers guffaw over the details of VAT collection... This is a brilliant book. Buy it, read it and weep - The Times

Erudite and informative - New Statesman

A treasure trove of killer facts - Guardian

Follow the Money is essential reading - Tortoise Media

Read it, absorb it, and understand how the country works. Johnson uses his talent for crunching the complex into the comprehensible to produce a cheerfully skeptical guide to the British state, revealing it's wisdom and idiocy, and where our money really goes. - Laura Kuenssberg

This is an important book by the economist who has set the terms of so much political debate over the past decade. If you want to understand why crazy politics routinely trumps economic rationality in government choices, read this. - Robert Peston

Paul Johnson - the oracle of fiscal - has provided the perfect guide through this dense thicket of fiscal facts and fictions, both explaining the hard choices we now face and why, as citizens, it matters that we understand and act wisely when making them - Andy Haldane

Fire and passion, combined with the facts. Every politician should get a copy, as the tales of short-sighted, election-fixated, cowardly decision-making are so depressing. And your way forward looks so blindingly sensible. - Polly Toynbee

Readable and entertaining... Johnson pulls no punches in his new book on the public finances which charts Government public policy failures - Municipal Journal

Readers interested in this subject could hardly hope for a better-qualified author... It should be compulsory reading for every MP and prospective government minister... packed full of interesting data and analysis... The real value of this book lies in the fact that Johnson does go far beyond the usual IFS mission, setting out his own agenda for the future - Literary Review

[A] powerful dissection of the stupidities of how we organise taxing and spending - Will Hutton, Observer

Paul Johnson's sharp and thorough Follow the Money is based on an idea so clear that it's surprising nobody has thought of it before... an energetic and angry book, charged with a strong sense of frustration - John Lanchester, London Review of Books

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“Essential guide to where your tax money goes”

As always, Paul Johnson gives a thoughtful and insightful guide to where our taxes go. Ought to be essential reading for all MPs and councillors and anyone else aspiring to be a politician.
Makes you realise that... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 14

“Eye-opening, engaging, and alarming in equal measure. Essential reading!”

Eye-opening, engaging, and alarming in equal measure. Essential reading! Jam packed with illuminating facts & stories, no stone is left unturned and no punches are pulled as Johnson cuts to the core of our... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 4

“Buried in Detail”

Unfortunately you get buried in details and history from the off. Otherwise it would have been a great read. Suggest the author does a concise version of this.

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 2

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