Axe hovers over marketing budgets as Con-Lib talks continue

Government departments will be bracing themselves for cuts to their marketing budgets if the Conservatives agree a deal with the Liberal Democrats to form the next Government.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg
David Cameron and Nick Clegg

The Tories and Liberal Democrats have been locked in negotiations since Friday (7 May) after voters failed to give any party a majority of commons seats.

According to a report on Sky News today (10 May), the two have agreed the outline of a deal. The plans are due to put to MPs and the front bench teams of both parties by the end of the day.

Prior to the election, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats both vowed to slash Government spending on advertising and marketing to 1997 levels in real terms.

Any deal between the two could pave the way for what the Tories have previously described as an “emergency budget” in a bid to tackle the estimated £163bn deficit.
The Conservative Party has vowed to make £6bn worth of spending cuts this year if it forms the next Government, which could include a reduction in marketing spending.   

The general election led to a hung parliament with the Conservative Party winning the most seats, 306, 20 short of the number needed to command a parliamentary majority.

If a deal is not done, Labour could seek its own agreement with the Liberal Democrats to govern.

Labour has vowed to cut departmental marketing budgets by 25% through efficiency savings and greater aggregation through the Central Office of Information.

Despite agreement on the need to cut Government spending on marketing budgets, the Tories and Liberal Democrats do no see eye to eye on how to tackle irresponsible marketing to children.

The Tories favour setting up a website for parents to complain about “sexualised” products aimed at children, while the Liberal Democrats want to work more closely with existing regulatory bodies to ensure that children are protected.

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