Quangos' PR spending goes through the roof

Spending on PR on a steep rise
Spending on PR on a steep rise

By politics.co.uk staff

There has been a steep rise in the amount spent on Public relations by quangos across the UK.

A freedom of information request has revealed sharp rises in communications spending across a sample of 32 public agencies, with almost two-third of them increasing the budget by 24 per cent over the last two years.

Ben Farrugia, policy analyst at the TaxPayers Alliance said: "Quangos should spend less time talking about what they are doing and more time doing the job that they are paid to do.

"Some quangos have legitimate reasons to spend on communication, but far too much goes on expensive public relations and spin.
Given the size of the quango state, the UK taxpayer is footing an enormous and unnecessary bill for PR."

There has been an explosion of quangos in recent years, with 1,162 public bodies currently costing the taxpayer £64 billion.

The spending on communications was well above that for general administrative work. For instance, the running costs of the Charities Commission only increased by 7 per cent between 2006/07 and 2007/08, while spending on communication increased by 34 per cent.

The number of people employed in communications rose by 11 per cent during the same period.

One third of the quangos who responded to the request had managed to reduce their communications budget, however.


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