Discretionary spending

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

Spending which a government body is empowered to make but not legally required to undertake. This can include both spending on real goods and services, such as public projects, and grants to individuals or organizations. Discretionary spending can be contrasted with mandatory spending programmes, where certain forms of spending are required by law or by the rules governing schemes like pensions or disability benefits.

Reference: Oxford Press Dictonary of Economics, 5th edt.

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