Scottish National Party MP Patrick Grady has raised concerns over the use of public funds for a UK government job advertised to "communicate the benefits of the Union to the Scottish public."
An advert for the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) seems to suggest that the role should be political, and should be used to cement the union, despite it being paid by the tax-payer.
It follows the revelation that £2.5 million of public spending was approved shortly before the General Election for an anti-SNP propaganda campaign. According to Cabinet Office transparency documents, £2.5 million was set aside in January for a publicity campaign for the UK Government’s limited devolution proposals – five times as much as they planned to spend on maximising voter registration. The UK Government has since confirmed that almost £800,000 was spent on the campaign.
Patrick Grady MP said: “This new job advert raises concerns over the appropriate use of public funds.
“International development aid should be spent as much as possible directly supporting people living in poverty, or tackling the root causes of poverty.
"I’ll be raising questions in Parliament about whether the UK Government will count this public cash towards its official development assistance budget. Communicating the benefits of the Union to the Scottish public seems a very strange definition of international aid spending, and I doubt it’s what most people would expect to see this limited but important budget being spent on.
“Other recent figures showed that the UK Government was prepared to spend £2.5m of public cash for what was essentially anti-SNP propaganda in the run-up to the election. This is particularly astonishing as it is five times as much north of the border than was spent on a campaign to maximise voter registration in the weeks before the general election. This perhaps says it all about the priorities of the UK Government."
DFID Job advert:
DFID has played a key role in the cross government communications campaign to communicate the benefits of the Union to the Scottish public, demonstrating that Scotland as part of the UK is a world leader in international development and is improving the lives of people living in extreme poverty. We’re looking for someone who can take that work to the next level.
Robertson demands answers on Tax-payer funded anti- SNP propaganda campaign: