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<p align="LEFT">Most analyses of public budgets – of which social spending is an important element - are based on gross (before tax) public expenditure data. However, a narrow focus on such information can be terribly misleading as it ignores that governments sometimes claw back social spending through taxation of benefit income, while also using tax systems to directly provide social support to households (e.g. child tax credits). Governments also tell or encourage individuals and companies todoi:10.17713/ajs.v32i3.457 fatcat:jnr7xm4zlja4ricolmad2aklma