Exclusive: Taxpayers have footed an extortionate bill for highly paid bureaucrats in Scotland, including permanent secretary JP Marks, with some being paid upwards of £93k a year
The Scottish Daily Express is reporting that the Holyrood government has splashed out more than £12 million in the past three years paying the wages of highly paid “chief” civil servants.
These include top bureaucrats in a number of high profile jobs, such as the chief veterinary officer Sheila Voas, fire service chief inspector Robert Scott and Permanent Secretary John-Paul Marks.
The figures were released to the Scottish Daily Express through Freedom of Information legislation and highlights the amount of money being ploughed into certain roles within the civil service.
In total, the taxpayer has spent £12.3 million on paying the salaries of Chief Officers at Scottish Civil Service Pay Band level one and two. This puts their salaries between £71k and £73k at level one and £93k to £95k at level two.
However, this figure does not include those who work for the Scottish Government on a “contingency” basis. This group includes the likes of Jason Leitch, the national clinical director, chief medical officer Jason Leitch and chief entrepreneur Mark Logan.
They still get reimbursed from the public purse as they are seconded to the government but how much this is was not published. They are paid by their employer, with the government then paying their business for “all salary and relevant associated employment costs that are applicable throughout the duration of their secondment.”
That cost is quite significant for the likes of former Skyscanner chief executive Mr Logan who will earn £192,000 a year for his role, despite working just eight days a month which is equal to £2,000 a day.
In total, there are 10 civil servants who are paid between £93k and £95k a year. This includes permanent secretary JP Marks, chief nursing officer Alex McMahon and chief economist Gary Gillespie.
Meanwhile, there is substantially more bureaucrats on the lower level of the pay spectrum, getting paid between £71k and £73k. This list includes the likes of Transport Scotland Interim Chief Executive Michelle Quinn, chief veterinary officer Sheila Voas and chief statistician Ally McAlpine and totals 39 job roles.
The Scottish Government also supplied a breakdown of how much these civil servants were being paid between 2020 and December 2022.
In 2020/21, they splashed out £4,364,236, with this increasing by just over £100k for 2021/22 to £4,506,952. And since the middle of 2022 a total of £3,457,329 has been spent. This figure includes remuneration, employer national insurance and pensions.
Officials did confirm that “there is no specific budget pre-allocated for these roles, these form part of the overall annual staffing budget of the relevant Directorate.”
The Scottish Government has previously been criticised for their use of civil service resources to try and boost their case for independence, with opponents attacking the fact that more than £1.5 million of public money was spent annually on civil servants who have been tasked to work on the Scexit campaign.
This was labelled as potentially illegal following the result of the Supreme Court case into independence with the UK Government civil service looking into this.
There has also been fears that some key civil servants have not been impartial, which they are meant to be. Ken Thomson, Director-General of Strategy and External Affairs, was caught on camera saying his job was to break up the UK.