Special Advisers

– Scottish Parliament written question – answered on 24th September 2010.

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Photo of Gil Paterson Gil Paterson Scottish National Party

Question S3W-36528

To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will provide the names of the special advisers currently in post; what their responsibilities are; what their pay bands are for 2010-11; how many special advisers are in each pay band, and what the total salary cost of employing special advisers was in 2009-10.

Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party

There are currently 10 special advisers including one part-time. The Special Advisers and their specific responsibilities are as follows:

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NameSpecific Responsibilities
Kevin Pringle Senior Special AdviserStrategic co-ordination across all portfolios, political spokesperson and senior adviser on communications issues.
Noel Dolan Senior Special AdviserSenior policy adviser to the Deputy First Minister on Health, Wellbeing, and Housing policy.
Alex Bell Senior Special AdviserSenior adviser on policy matters, First Minister’s Questions, constitutional issues and renewable energy issues.
Geoff Aberdein Special AdviserLiaison with FM’s Private office; adviser on FM diary issues. Lead on sports issues and 2014 Commonwealth Games including legacy.
Jennifer Erickson Special Adviser Support on Policy for Economic Issues (Part time)
Stephen Gethins Special Adviser Support on policy for Finance & Sustainable Growth, Europe and External Relations, Environment & Rural Affairs, Energy and Climate Change.
Colin McAllister Special Adviser Policy support for Education and Culture issues.
John McFarlane Special Adviser Policy Adviser on justice issues, Parliamentary liaison working with Minister for Parliamentary Business and the Parliamentary Liaison Officers
Will McLeish Special Adviser Political spokesperson, advice on communications issues and liaison with broadcasters.
Stuart Nicolson Special Adviser Political spokesperson, advice on communications issues.

The number of salaried special advisers in each pay band from 1 April 2010 is:

Pay BandPay RangeNumber of salaried Special Advisers
1£39,445 – £52,9045
2£51,041 - £67,7092
3£65,017 - £83,9633
3 (premium)£83,549 - 100,9420
4£86,965 - 104,4620

The total salary cost for the 10 salaried special advisers in post in 2009-2010 including ERNIC and employer pension contributions was £701,627. By comparison the cost of the 12 Special Advisers employed by the previous administration in 2006-07 was £854,376.

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