So, David Cameron has spoken about ‘cutting the cost of politics’. The headlines have focused on his rather irritating promise to increase the price of food and drink in Parliament. Boo!
But the Tory leader also spoke of plans to crack down on public sector bodies hiring lobbyists. He said:
”Today, government bodies spend millions of pounds hiring public affairs advisers to lobby government for more money or other policy changes. Let me make that clear – that’s government spending money to get government to spend more money.
‘We will follow the example of the United States and impose new financial rules to stop public sector bodies from hiring consultants to lobby politicians. At a stroke, this will save £10 million a year.’
So, bad news for public sector specialists such as Connect Public Affairs, Grayling, Fishburn Hedges etc. But this is not a new policy. In fact, it was first aired by the Tories in a report at the end of last year. The report also cited the figure of £10 million as the amount spent on government lobbying ‘in recent years’.
However, this is the first time that former corporate affairs director Cameron has nailed his colours to the mast…