Tories slam Welsh Government for spending over £2 million a year on “Labour spin”
The Welsh Government has come under fire for the amount of money it spends on press officers following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request from the Welsh Conservatives.
The figures obtained via the FOI reveal £1,002,995 of public money is being spent on staff to communicate Welsh Government activities.
The request also confirmed the government doesn’t hold historical information on the number of press officers, or the amount previously spent on the department.
The £1m of current expenditure is used to employ 24 members of staff, including a Head of News, earning around £70,000.
The average salary for a full-time staff member in the press and media department is £44,000.
The total spent on press officers matches expenditure of £1,100,923 on special advisors – up £200k since the start of the pandemic – bringing the total spend on what the Tories describe as “Labour spin” to over £2 million per year.
“Given the Labour Government mainly just parrot the same old line that Westminster is to blame for the world’s ills, even in devolved areas, I’m surprised to see such a sky-high bill for its spin doctors,” Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said.
“The public know and understand that staff are needed to communicate new rules and laws that come in from devolved government, but that does not mean ministers should build such an expensive team and charging it to the public, all a time when the cost-of-living is on the up.
“Then again, these are the same people that want to flood Cardiff Bay with more politicians, so they don’t have to work as hard.”
The FOI also revealed that in 2020 Wales’ Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) spent in excess of £8m on PR and staffing costs over four years, with the PCC for South Wales nearly doubling their staffing budget.
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