TaxPayers' Alliance report reveals 'shocking' figures on Government lobbying

Over £38 million was spent on taxpayer funded lobbying and political campaigning in 2007-08, according to a report published today by the TaxPayers' Alliance.

Lobbying: report reveals Government figures
Lobbying: report reveals Government figures

In particular, the report claims that public sector organisations spent nearly £4.9 million on hiring political consultancies.

It says that 77 public sector organisations were found to be spending on political consultancies, the biggest spender being Scottish Enterprise, which spent over £1 million on such activity.

The report, Taxpayer funded lobbying and political campaigning, is composed of public sector bodies spending on lobbying and Government funding of what are described as ‘nominally independent political campaigns and think tanks'.

According to the report, Government also spends nearly £1.8 million on health policy campaigns, with including £515,000 paid to Alcohol Concern and £130,000 paid to the Family Planning Association.

Environmental policy campaigns received over £6.7 million, the report states.

Matthew Sinclair, research director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: ‘It is shocking that such a large amount of taxpayers' money is being spent by Governement lobbying the Government.'

The new report comes around nine months after The Conservatives' Government Lobbying Government report, which the party said highlighted 'widespread expenditure by central government bodies on hiring public affairs firms to lobby the Government' (`PRWeek, 5 December 2008).

At the time, shadow Cabinet Office minister Nick Hurd said: 'The hiring of lobbyists by government bodies to grab more cash is a financial scandal. No wonder the bureaucratic state has ballooned under Labour, given lobbyists are routinely in the pay of the Government ... Conservatives will put new rules in place to stop this outrageous waste of money.'

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