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Government spin doctors costing millions

Government spin doctors costing millions

The National Party’s released figures showing the Government spent more than $14 million dollars on spin doctors in the 17 months to November last year.

“This Government was elected on a platform of transparency, yet it’s shelling out millions upon millions of dollars to tell the public what it wants them to hear,” says National’s Rangitikei MP Simon Power.

He’s commenting on answers to a series of Parliamentary Questions, which show that over those 17 months, some 220 communications, media and public relations consultants had been engaged by the Labour Government.

“It’s hard to see how this fits with Helen Clark’s promise to crack down on the ‘culture of extravagance’.

“But it gets worse - according to the figures on full-timers, there were some 340 communications staff employed by the Government and its Departments as at October last year.

“All up that’s more than 500 PR people.

“From that it should be clear to any observer that this is the Government of spin.

“And it’s also worth remembering most Ministers have their own press secretary, as do some of those outside cabinet, the Prime Minister’s got a handful of media people herself, plus there’s the five member ‘Burns Unit’ which was set up to promote positive Government stories.

“Given these staggering figures, the public needs to be very cautious about how they treat any information from the Government.

“I believe it’s more about what they’re not telling us than what they are,” Mr Power concludes.

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