Down the Drain: Counting the Costs of the Government’s EU Campaign

Down the Drain: Counting the Costs of the Government’s EU Campaign

After nearly choking on our tea when we heard how much the government spent on the EU campaign, The Code Guy offers a smarter solution for taxpayers’ money.

Last week, it came to light that the government has spent an eye-watering £9.3 million on the Remain campaign as it prepares for the EU referendum. This is not a leather-bound booklet outlining the policy, nor a futuristic hologram that can spring to life in your home. We’re talking about a bog standard, 14-page leaflet, and a basic content website to accompany it.

 Once you’ve recovered from falling off your chair at this figure, let’s take a look at the breakdown of these numbers, and how the government could have saved the Great British taxpayers an arm and a leg on their latest campaign.

The Multi-Million Pound Leaflet…

In case you suspected that the figure was plucked out of thin air, the government is able to substantiate the numbers with a breakdown – not that it makes the news any easier to stomach! The leaflet, which will be distributed to 27 million homes in two waves, cost approximately 34p to produce per household.

 The cost of production was £458,500 - at first glance reasonable enough when you consider the number of leaflets and pages. However, this doesn’t include the printing and delivery costs, which reached £5,947,436. 

But we have saved the best until last… the accompanying website cost a jaw-dropping £2,894,064. The build stage alone was approximately £500,000, and if you’ve visited the Stronger In website yet, it’s hardly cutting edge.

A Smarter Solution

When the government turns to a big firm with a multi-million pound budget for a marketing campaign, it isn’t hard to believe how they got fleeced. However, this wasn’t a necessary evil; instead of lining the pockets of inflated agencies with extortionate rates, the government could be much savvier about how they spend taxpayers’ money… EU Referendum Website

The freelancer community has swelled in recent years, with 1.4 million self-employed professionals who are fighting to outshine agencies in the digital world. For freelancers, gaining exposure at a national level is tough, especially during the tender process when facing agencies with a much larger sway.

By partnering with freelancers for their digital projects, the government could not only stand to save millions of pounds on design, development and print; they would also be supporting a growing community of grafters who are driving the resurgence of the British economy.

As the government comes under fire for its extravagant spending on the Remain campaign, we can only hope that it will have learned a valuable lesson from the saga.

By supporting independent freelancers who are able to deliver quality work at a fraction of the costs charged by agencies, the government would be winning over the self-employed as well as winning the campaigns that it so desperately seeks to promote. Sounds like a no-brainer, right?