TAXPAYERS paid a £ 27m bill to pay for public spin doctors in a single ward in Whitehall last year.
Wages for press officers in the Cabinet Office, including No. 10, have risen from £ 18 million over two years.
Minister Nigel Adams insisted that the swell budget reflected the “extraordinary national and global events” such as ad campaigns during the pandemic.
But advocates declared spending a colossal waste, especially as the government tightens the belt on spending.
And critics pointed out that it was more than the £ 24million pool for breakfast clubs for disadvantaged school children over the next two years.
Labor’s shadow chief of the Treasury, Pat McFadden, said: “£ 27 million is an awful lot of spin doctors.
“Of course, governments need to communicate, but the priority is certainly to get as much help as possible for people trying to cope with the cost-of-living crisis, rather than such a huge increase in the delivery of public messages.”
Danielle Boxall, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “While taxpayers were facing the pandemic, the Cabinet Office was spraying millions out to media executives.
“It is high time that ministers crack down on these rising spin costs and provide hard-pressed households with some much-needed savings.”
Meanwhile, Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s treasury spin-off operation topped £ 3 million last year.
And PR staffers who worked at the COP climate summit last year cost taxpayers £ 1.2 million.
The State Treasury has been contacted for comment.