Magazine article Public Finance

Labour's Ad Spend 'Did Not Misuse Funds'

Magazine article Public Finance

Labour's Ad Spend 'Did Not Misuse Funds'

Article excerpt

Howell James, the permanent secretary charged with eliminating spin, has denied Conservative allegations that the Labour government deliberately boosted public information broadcasts and advertisements in the run-up to this year's general election.

Government figures showed that in the first three months of this year it spent £67m on advertising, compared with less than £41m for the same period last year. The Conservatives claimed this indicated a deliberate attempt to misuse public funds to promote the Labour party.

James told the Commons public administration select committee last week that the disproportionate spend in the first few months of this year reflected a post-Christmas drop in advertising space, rather than political bias.

The beginning of the year is when best value can be acquired... it's traditionally a more economic time period to buy advertising space,' he said. …

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