Ministers have spent more than £180,00 of taxpayers’ money on a new series documents on independence, according to figures made public today. 

Details released by the Scottish Government revealed that the total cost of the 11 documents produced to date comes to £181,160.

Former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon began publishing the new independence papers in June 2022, with the first costing £18,992, including more than £4,000 on design costs and £2,100 for printing physical copies.

Ten more papers have been printed since including one unveiled yesterday on defence and security in an independent Scotland.

It argued an independent Scotland would seek to remove Trident and join Nato.

The figures on costs have been published amid mounting questions from opposition parties on whether Scottish ministers should be able to use taxpayers’ money to further their aim of independence with the constitution an area reserved to Westminster.

The independence papers have focused on topics such as EU membership, broadcasting and culture, the economy, creating a new constitution and citizenship rights, and the marine environment.

The most expensive paper to date has been on EU membership, with £7650 spent on translation out of the cost of £22,629, and the cheapest on the economy which cost £10,034.

Critics have said that they have provided little new information about how an independent Scotland would address major challenges and are yet to provide convincing answers on issues such as currency, pensions or borders.

READ MORE: Shona Robison: Next woman to lead Scottish Government

Sir Simon Case, the head of the UK civil service, said last year that he is considering investigating whether SNP ministers spending taxpayers money on independence should be allowed.

Some unionists argue that as the constitution is a reserved issue, which was put beyond doubt by the Supreme Court in 2022 when it ruled unanimously that Holyrood could not unilaterally call an independence referendum, the spending should not be allowed.

Sir Simon told the Lords constitution committee in July last year that it would be “unusual and a bit worrying” if civil servants funded by the taxpayer were being used to try to break up the country.

READ MORE: Holyrood won't say if Matheson has responded to iPad report

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government was elected with a clear mandate to provide the people of Scotland with the information they need to make an informed choice about their constitutional future.

“Through the Building a New Scotland series the Government is setting out how we could make the most of the opportunities of independence to make Scotland a wealthier, happier, and fairer place, as comparable European countries are.

“For 2022-23, the costs of running the Constitutional Futures Division and the publication of the Building a New Scotland papers amounted to around 0.0035% of the Scottish Government’s overall budget.”