Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
THE PEOPLE'S National Party (PNP) is claiming that it spent $280.7 million less than its main political rivals, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), en route to landing massive victories in the December 2011 general election and this March's local government polls.
In both elections, the PNP recorded crushing victories by a margin of 2-1.
Mark Golding, the treasurer of the party, told The Gleaner on Tuesday that the total campaign income was $371.4 million, of which $357.3 was spent. He said the $14.1 million stated in the Income & Expenditure account in its audited financial statement represents net surplus.
Golding said the campaign income and expenditure figure represents spending on both local government and general elections. He said campaign expenditures for last March's parish council elections are about 10 per cent of the total.
On Sunday, JLP treasurer Christopher Bovell told Sunday's annual conference that $638 million was spent by party central on election-related expenses in 2011, when compared to $450 million in 2007.
The report to delegates indicated that $10 million was given to candidates for Nomination Day assistance in 2007 and that the figure more than doubled to $23 million in 2011.
Similarly, Bovell said the party gave its 60 parliamentary candidates $114 million in Election Day assistance in 2007 when compared to $135 million given to its 63 candidates during the 2011 elections.
Less on ads
The party treasurer, in pointing to the increase in election expenditure, said "the biggest areas of increases were nomination and election-day expenses, constituency assistance, and the purchase of campaign materials".
"Our expenditure on public relations and advertising was flat. Our spending on tours and meetings was reduced by 15 per cent over 2007 election spending," the treasurer said.
In the meantime, Golding said the party has taken the decision not to share details of its campaign expenditure. He also said he was not in a position to provide comparative figures for election spending in the 2007 general election.
"I don't have that information. I became treasurer in 2009. The party's accounting capacity was significantly improved after Peter Bunting became general secretary in 2008," Golding told The Gleaner.