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Last Updated: Monday, 12 March 2007, 17:18 GMT
SNP pledges to reduce departments
Scottish Executive sign
The SNP would cut departments at the Scottish Executive
The Scottish National Party has pledged to cut the number of Scottish Executive departments by a third if it wins power in the Holyrood elections.

Leader Alex Salmond said he has plans to introduce a more efficient government north of the border.

The party said it would cut the number of departments from nine to six and appoint 16 ministers, excluding law officers.

Mr Salmond said the savings would be put into frontline public services.

The pledge was described as one of a series of "keynote announcements" ahead of the party's spring election in Glasgow this weekend.

'More powerful'

Mr Salmond said the changes to the administration would be put in place within the first 100 days of the SNP winning power in May.

It would see ministerial posts cut to six senior ministers and 10 deputies.

"I will deliver a smaller, better-focused ministerial team, and more powerful and effective departments to ensure delivery of our key public policy priorities," Mr Salmond said.

"Our shake-up of government will mean that departments will be led by new cabinet secretaries who will drive forward government policy on economic growth and public service improvements."

The MP for Banff and Buchan said the departments would be cut through a series of "simplifications, amalgamations and transfers of responsibilities".

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