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Friday 25th January 2013 | 07:00
By David Singleton
The Government has produced more than 5,500 circulars, consultation documents and publications since May 2010 at a cost of over £1.3 million, PoliticsHome has learned.
Titles include ‘Code of Practice on Noise from Ice-Cream Van Chimes’ and ‘Is your dog barking too much?’
Labour MP Jon Ashworth (pictured), who unearthed the spending, questioned whether, in the age of the internet, all of the publications needed to be produced in hard copy.
He said: “When people across the country are facing cuts, the Government should be more careful with what it is spending money on. It beggars belief they are throwing away taxpayers’ cash on publications such ‘is your dog barking too much’.”
But Government sources suggested that a similar – if not higher – level of spending on such publications occurred under the previous government. “It is the Government’s responsibility to engage the public by consulting fully and adequately,” said a source.
The Department for Transport emerges as one of the biggest spenders, having produced 1945 publications and 132 consultation documents since May 2010, at a cost of £359,000.
The Home Office has spent £290,921 on circulars and consultation documents since David Cameron became Prime Minister and the Department for Education has spent £164,520
Other departments were unable to provide details of costs incurred.
The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills has produced 1,467 publications but did not reveal how much was spent on this.
Similarly the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs declined to say how much was spent producing 381 publications since May 2010, including ‘Code of Practice on Noise from Model Aircraft 1982’, ‘Code of Practice on Noise from Ice-Cream Van Chimes Etc. 1982’ and ‘Is your dog barking too much?’
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