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Government's spin bill rises to nearly £400m
08-31-2008, 03:31 PM
Post: #1
Government's spin bill rises to nearly £400m
Quote:Official figures showed that central government spent a total of £391 million on advertising, marketing, PR and other presentational work in 2007-08.

The total is up by £53 million on the previous year, when it was £338 million - a rise of almost 16 per cent.

When he took office last year, Mr Brown pledged a new sort of politics and sought to distance himself from his predecessor, who was frequently accused of being too heavily involved in spin and presentation.

But since last June, Mr Brown has faced repeated charges that he is at least as inclined to spin as Mr Blair.

Earlier this year, the annual wage bill for the Prime Minister's special advisers was estimated to have risen by more than £350,000 to £1.75 million - roughly the same as when Mr Blair was at No 10.

The latest spending figures are revealed in the annual report of the Central Office of Information, which co-ordinates government marketing, advertising and PR work.

The Information Office's total spending has more than trebled since Labour came to power in 1997. The latest figures show that the government spent £167 million on advertising, as well as £29 million on PR and sponsorship and £12 million on "strategic consultancy".

Some government communications schemes have sparked political controversy. Ofcom, the communications regulator, is investigating the use of £800,000 of public money to sponsor an ITV programme about community support officers.

Greg Clark MP, Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, said the figures showed that Mr Brown's talk of a "new politics" had been a sham.

He said: "At a time when families and businesses are having to cut back, Gordon Brown is increasing spending on promoting himself and his government. Spending on PR and advertising has rocketed under Gordon Brown's premiership by over four times the rate of inflation, and now Labour want to spend even more.

"It is a sign of just out of how out of touch Gordon Brown is with the situation facing ordinary people that he thinks it reasonable to let rip with spending on PR and advertising while telling everyone else they have to tighten their belts."

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Government's spin bill rises to nearly £400m - TriWooOx - 08-31-2008 03:31 PM

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