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What Things Cost

Often in debates about public funds, there will be arguments along the lines of ‘why are you spending £10 million on x, when that could be used to pay for y which has a much greater marginal utility.’  However, as far as I’m aware there isn’t an easily accessible and exhaustive list of public pricings for different public policy choices- even budget papers require a lot of interrogation to get to allow you to get to useful comparison points.

That’s why the Guardian’s piece today on 23 things you could pay for with £10 million could be very useful. Even more useful is the spreadsheet at the end of the document, which gives the unit cost of a whole range of public and private goods, from teachers’ wages to house prices to energy bills to Prince Charles.

The Price of Everything