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Rudd takes the axe to printing spend

Wednesday, 12 December 2007
By Print 21 Online Article

The future relationship between the new Labor Government and the printing industry gets off to a rocky start with a plan to cut $6.3 million from MP’s printing allowance.

In August last year, the Howard government increased the allowance from $125,000 to $150,000 and added a provision that allowed a maximum $67,500 of unspent allowance to be rolled over into the next year.

According to reports, Labor will reduce the allowance to $100,000 for the 226 MPs and Senators in order to help finance its election spending programme.

The cuts are expected to have a serious impact on many printers, especially around election time. According to Printing Industries CEO Philip Andersen MPs should seek advice from printing companies on how to more effectively use their printing allowances.

He said that both political parties made extravagant spending promises during the election campaign that would have to be paid for regardless of who won.
“But cutting printing allowances is not the way to pay for them, particularly when it involves the most effective and retentive way of getting your message across, direct mail,” he said.

“If the Labor Government is going to fulfill its promise of greater accountability and transparency then it’s going to need to communicate consistently with the electorate. It needs to be innovative with its communications if it wants people to understand and appreciate its important messages.

“Our industry has technology and innovative processes that can be used to enhance government communication, making it attractive and individual and increasing its effectiveness. But you need to know how to use it effectively and the best way of doing this is to talk to the printing industry.”

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