State funded lobbyists

I have blogged a bit in the past about how the Government sometimes funds lobby groups to then lobby the Government. One example was the Obesity Action Coalition whose funding has now been stopped.

I do not know how big the problem is in New Zealand, but the UK Taxpayers Alliance has discovered that around NZ$100 million a year is spent by the Government on lobbying the Government. Some examples:

  • Nearly £1.8 million is spent on health policy campaigns, including £515,000 paid to Alcohol Concern, £191,000 paid to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and £130,000 paid to the Family Planning Association.
  • Environmental policy campaigns received over £6.7 million, including funding for the Sustainable Development Commission, Friends of the Earth, the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences and numerous other groups.

Those who wish to change or defend government policy should not have the Government funding that advocacy. Can be okay to fund them for genuine services but not for advocacy.

Hat Tip: Fairfacts Media

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