A statement from ‘No thanks, NUS’ in the last hour has revealed extortionate levels of spending on the 2015 General Election, with new plans to increase the limits to allow for even more.

Oxford’s designated Out campaign for the upcoming NUS Referendum next week have unearthed evidence of £54,178.50 in spending by the NUS in last year’s General Election. The figures, provided by the Electoral Commission reveal a colossal £46,656 spent on manifesto or referendum material.

NUS spending revealed

NUS spending revealed

The most troubling aspect of this spending is the lack of evidence of the NUS Executive seeking the approval of delegates in what to spend the vast sums of money on. Indeed, around £40,000 of the money is thought to have been spent on the “Liar, Liar” poster campaign, which referenced the Government’s change in stance over tuition fees in the 2010-2015 Coalition. However, as well reported at the time, the NUS’ President in 2010, Aaron Porter, in fact lobbied the Government to slash maintenance grants and loans as an alternative to raising tuition fees. (Perhaps ‘Liar, Liar’ was actually in reference to Mr Porter…) ‘No thanks, NUS’ have cited this whole affair as an example of the NUS being a union that is clearly unaccountable and run in the interests of a small clique of undemocratic officials.

In a further revelation, it appears that the NUS have prepared for even greater levels of spending, having passed a resolution to be able to spend up to £4 million on election campaigning. Whilst the NUS stated that “it is very unlikely that we would ever spend this amount directly on campaigns activity”. However, they go on to state “but we are seeking an allowance that allows for any eventuality”.

The NUS resolution that subsequently passed.

The NUS resolution that subsequently passed.

 

In what is a large scoop for the disaffiliation camp, it seems clear that the NUS spending is increasingly being shown as out of control. What more, with this news coming so close to the referendum, questions must be asked over wether undecideds might have a new reason to vote Out. 

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