The Scottish Herald report:

GOVERNMENT spin doctors have now cost taxpayers almost £10million since the creation of the Scottish Parliament 14 years ago, figures show.

Statistics released under Freedom Of Information laws show the total cost of special advisers – known as ‘spads’ – has almost trebled from the days of Donald Dewar’s first devolved administration in 1999.

Mr Dewar employed seven spads – at a cost of £398,062 during his short tenure of office. The current wage bill for Alex Salmond’s tally of 13 stands at almost £1million a year.

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I am a journalist and author. I am a staff writer at the UK edition of WIRED magazine and in 2015 my book, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. I created FOI Directory in 2012.