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Last Updated: Monday, 27 June, 2005, 13:47 GMT 14:47 UK
Public sector jobs numbers soar
Red tape is blamed for the rise in public sector jobs
The number of public sector workers in Scotland has rocketed by 11,000 in just one year, official figures show.

Most of the new posts are in support services, rather than in front line jobs like nurses, teachers and police.

The Conservatives said the total showed bureaucracy was out of control and the SNP called for cuts.

The Scottish Executive said the figures were 18 months out of date and that an efficiency drive had since begun.

The 745m crackdown was aimed at shedding about 800 jobs.

Fire service

Most of them will be in NHS back room services, largely because of the introduction of more computers.

Posts will also go in the fire service, Scottish Natural Heritage, Caledonian MacBrayne and the Forestry Commission.

A report suggested in April that 45 jobs could go at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) may lose 25 jobs.

The executive must do more to reign in unnecessary bureaucracy
Alasdair Morgan
Scottish National Party

The changes will be implemented over 2007-8 when 1,051 posts will go and 265 positions will be created.

The new statistics showed that nearly a quarter of all workers in Scotland are now employed in the public sector - one of the highest proportions in the world.

The number of local government staff rose by more than 2%, and there were increases of 1.7% in the NHS and 2% in public corporations.

Conservative Murdo Fraser said the biggest growth industry in Scotland was now government and he voiced concern that the large public sector was squeezing out growth in the private sector.

Scottish National Party finance spokesman, Alasdair Morgan, added: "The executive must do more to reign in unnecessary bureaucracy.

"The executive must honour its pledge to cut public sector costs and deliver greater efficiency and value for money to the taxpayer."

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