Taxpayer funds £10m bonus pot

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Almost £10 million of bonuses were paid out by taxpayer-funded public bodies in Scotland last year.

Edinburgh-based universities and quangos are among the dozens of organisations to pay out despite pledges to slash public spending, it was reported today.

Among those to benefit were the staff on the Forth Road Bridge, with 36 individuals sharing a £249,526 windfall, while 184 staff at Edinburgh University shared £171,770, with the highest single payout totalling £2516.

Heriot-Watt University paid out £105,800 to 57 members of staff, while heritage quango Historic Scotland paid a total of £29,475 to 147 individuals.

Labour MSP Richard Baker said: “The public find it hard to square bonuses with huge cuts.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said its policy was to suspend bonuses in 2011-12 and again next year.