The Federal Chancellery spends around 450,000 euros a month on public relations. This resulted in the answer to a parliamentary question from the SPÖ. The Chancellery’s PR department has 104 employees. In its request, the SPÖ spoke of a “personnel explosion” in the “political PR apparatus of the Chancellor”, which the Chancellor’s spokesman put into perspective.
In total, the Chancellery’s public relations department had 97 employees last year (84.5 full-time equivalents). There are also seven press spokespersons, according to the response to the inquiry. These are not only for Chancellor Karl Nehammer, but also for Constitutional Minister Karoline Edtstadler, Family Affairs Minister Susanne Raab and State Secretary for Youth Affairs Claudia Plakolm (all ÖVP), who are also assigned to the Chancellery.
Compared to 2021, the space for public relations has increased by three people. No further employees are planned for 2023, so that the average monthly costs of 450,650 euros, including 56,432 euros for the deployment of press spokespersons, remain unchanged.
‘Not all active in political communication’
Spokesman for Chancellor Daniel Kosak (ÖVP) emphasized on the short message service Twitter on Friday morning that not all of them were active in “political communication”. This list includes, for example, the Civil Service, responsible for responding to citizens’ concerns, or supporting the Federal Chancellery’s official social media channels.
In her November question, SPÖ MP Julia Herr criticized that since Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) became chancellor, there is a “huge budget in millions” for PR staff. Under Kurz alone, there were 59 employees for PR purposes in the Chancellery. The number of employees has been “constant for years and was not significantly different in the Kern government (presumably also Faymann),” countered Chancellor spokesman Kosak.
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