The Express yesterday highlighted how much Ben Bradshaw’s department is costing the ever more hard-pressed UK tax payer. The ‘Ministry of Fun’ as his department of Culture, Media and Sport is known, has a team of eleven press officers that cost us Â£706,643 last year.Worse still, spending on these spin doctors has increased by 50% over the last four years. Even more galling, productivity in the form of the number of press releases has dropped from 157 to 131 per annum.
This all equates to each spin doctor getting Â£64,000 a year and each press release costs the taxpayer Â£5,394.
In their defence they state that the press officers have many other duties such as a 24 hour a day duty media and news service, writing speeches and organising briefings.
The Conservatives of course have lambasted this and said they will target this spending, The Shadow Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said they would consider cutting it down as part of a drive to cut Whitehall spending by about a third. In fact the words “At a time when budgets for the arts and sports are being cut, it is extraordinary that the Government is paying press officers this amount of money. The fact that the department had increased expenditure on press officers by half over just four years shows that Government spending is completely out of control. The Government need to get a grip on spending and allocate funding to the front line where it belongs.” may come back and haunt him very quickly.
I for one do not believe that the Tory’s love affair with the media has suddenly ended. Actually, with their plans for tax and cuts, one would think they will need all the spin they can get.
For me the question is, how do these press officers benefit the people who pay them? That is, the taxpayers of the UK. Their work benefits our politicians’ personal profiles and the spin doctors’ own bank balances but not much else. Spin doctors are useless and sometimes damaging and dangerous to the ordinary person in the street, they are nothing more than the modern equivalent of witch doctors. Get rid of them!