Coalition parties accused of advertising popular policies with taxpayer funds

The Government has been accused of using public money to fund multimillion pound TV ad campaigns that promote popular Conservative and Liberal Democrat policies.

David Cameron: accused of advertising popular policies (credit: Conservative Party)
David Cameron: accused of advertising popular policies (credit: Conservative Party)

The government is running press and TV campaigns to promote the Help to Buy scheme, healthy school meals, and advances in the health service, according to a report in The Times.

The most notable campaign is a three-month £2.5m  television and newspaper series to promote Help to Buy, the mortgage scheme intended for first-time buyers.

A Treasury spokeswoman told The Times the campaign would be funded by the banks participating in the Help to Buy scheme, "so is not paid for by taxpayers", but a figure at a leading bank is said to have described this as "spin".

The Lib Dems also stand accused of promoting their policies using taxpayers’ money. A newspaper ad for ‘healthier school meals’ reminds parents of the flagship Liberal Democrat policy which came in last autumn.

Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow cabinet office minister, told The Times: "Ministers need to justify this immediately. This looks like shameless electioneering at taxpayers’ expense. No one will be fooled by the timing. Ministers appear to be using public resources to support political messages in advance of the election campaign."

A Cabinet Office spokesman pointed out that since 2010 the cost of government communications had halved.



Read next

10 tech themes brands must be ready for in 2015

15 ways to embrace change in 2015

Become a member of Campaign from just £45 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Why creative people have lost their way

What better way to kick off the inaugural issue of Campaign's monthly print offering than with another think piece on the current failings of our industry, written by an embittered, pretentious creative who misses "the way things used to be"...

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).