The Welsh Government has spent more than £10m on PR and marketing over the past three years
hris Pyke, Wales On-Line
But they says it is 'staggeringly naÔve' of the Conservative party to use the figures as criticism
More than £10.7m has been spent by the Welsh Government on the services of PR and marketing agencies over a three-year period.
The figures, obtained via a freedom of information request submitted by the Welsh Conservatives, show spending on marketing more than doubled (+109%) between 2014 and 2016, while PR spend more than tripled (+326%) over the same period.
While the majority of the agencies listed are based in Wales, a company in England received the most public money over the three-year period. Between 2013-14 and 2015-16, Northamptonshire-based Event Exhibitions received £2,495,045, having grossed £970,549 in 2015-16 alone.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Finance Secretary, Nick Ramsay AM, said: "When you consider the hundreds of the thousands of pounds spent by the Welsh Government on its own in-house spin machine, this strikes me as a truly profligate use of public money.
"Of course, any good government has a responsibility to keep the public informed about its activities, public health initiatives and new laws. But given that the Labour administrationís spend on PR and marketing agencies is marked by a meteoric rise in the same year as the Assembly election, it does suggest a government desperately trying to disguise its appalling record at any cost.
"The best kind of PR is free, which is to deliver good public services and a strong economy Ė something which Welsh Labour has singularly failed to do after nearly two decades in government.
"Instead of spending millions of pounds outsourcing their spin, the Welsh Government would do better to redirect this money at our struggling schools and overstretched hospitals where it is desperately needed."
A Welsh Government spokesman hit back at the comments, saying: "These comments are staggeringly naÔve. As Nick Ramsay is fully aware, all governments use marketing and advertising to support the delivery of their priorities, including promoting tourism, attracting inward investment or countering domestic violence.
"As a result, we are now seeing record levels of inward investment coming to Wales, a 15% increase in overall volume of tourism over the past year, and a 16% increase in the number of GP training places filled in Wales during the last 12 months."
uploaded: Mon, Jun 26 2017
modified: Tue, Dec 30 1969
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