Hey big spenders!

Includes: Indoors, World issues

Activity time:
30 mins


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Who foots the bill?

Help girls understand how the government spends taxpayers' money.


  1. Split the unit into teams and ask them to brainstorm items that they feel a government should pay for (for example, health service, education, housing, benefits, firefighters etc).
  2. Give each team a budget of £1 million and challenge them to allocate their funds to the areas that they feel would benefit most. They must discuss their reasons within the group.
  3. As a unit, discuss where each team allocated their budget and why. Would any groups change their suggestions based on what other groups have done? Why?
  4. Issue each group with a set of the following demands:
    • the health service needs £200,000 more to deal with rehabilitation
    • following catastrophic flooding, emergency responders need £500,000 to support those fleeing the disaster area
    • 250 new schools must be built costing £650,00
    • the new high-speed train link to Cardiff needs £300,000 to complete the track
    • the fire service needs £150,000 to promote fire safety in schools
    • a heritage organisation needs £200,000 to save several buildings of historical interest.
  5. Get each group to talk about how the demands impacted on their budget. What did they need to compromise on or negotiate for? How difficult did they find this? How did they agree on the final budget?
  6. To take it further, members of The Senior Section could use this as a phase 1 activity towards the Independent Living octant. Also encourage Guides to complete the Independent living badge or GFI! Lifewise.

Planning checklist

Section Number of girls per adult
Rainbows 5
Brownies 8
Guides 12

How many adults are needed?

Use this calculator to find out the ratio of girls to adults that is required for this activity

2 adults needed