Scottish Government consultancy fees fall by 78% over two years

Holyrood: 41 Parliament staff are paid more than members.
Parliament: SNP said savings had been passed on to frontline services.© STV

The amount the Scottish Government spends on consultancy work has fallen by 78% in two years, figures have shown.

In 2011-12 the bill for consultants amounted to less than £4m, compared to just over £14m in 2009-10.

SNP backbencher James Dornan said the figures showed the SNP administration at Holyrood "has its priorities right and is targeting its resources at the services we all rely on".

The figures, released under Freedom of Information, disclosed that spending by the Scottish Government on consultants in 2009-10 totalled £14,048,084.

That fell to £5,240,237 in 2010-11 and then dropped again to £3,747,396 last year.

Mr Dornan, a member of the Scottish Parliament's Public Audit Committee, said: "At a time when budgets are under pressure, it is only right that the Scottish Government does everything it can to save money for frontline services.

"The fact that consultancy spending has been driven down by 78% shows that the SNP Government has its priorities right and is targeting its resources on the services we all rely on.

"By keeping backroom costs down, we are helping to ensure that policies such as free care for the elderly, no tuition fees and the older person's bus pass remain affordable."