ALMOST 100 people sit on multiple public bodies across Scotland – raking in more than £2 million a year between them, according to a new audit.

The analysis found that many of the quango appointments, which usually involve just a handful of days of work a month, were rewarded with an average salary of more than £22,300 per role, with the highest wage reaching £130,500 for two board roles.

Among these, there are 34 “professional” non-executive directors, whose only employment seems to be board membership.

Eight directors sit on three or more boards, often with little policy connection between each board. A high number of the appointees were also local councillors.

Organisations included in the analysis included health boards, the Care Inspectorate, the Crofting Commission, the Cairngorm and the Loch Lomond and Trossachs national parks and Foods Standards Scotland.

They also included a number of cultural bodies such as Creative Scotland.

Ministers say the boards play a "vital role" in the delivery of public services.

Scottish Labour, which carried out the research, accused the SNP of handing millions of pounds to people effectively working as professional public board members.

Daniel Johnson, the party’s spokesman for economy and finance, pictured below, said: “There are a jaw-dropping number of people earning full-time salaries for a few days’ work on the SNP gravy train.

HeraldScotland:

“When people and public services are all crying out for help, every single penny of public money must be spent wisely.

“But, instead, high-paid executives are being handed thousands of pounds for doing the boardroom merry-go-round under the SNP. 

“Specialist advice is essential, but the SNP are stripping these experts of their independence by putting more and more of them on the government payroll. 

“The SNP are letting cronyism run riot – and it is taxpayers footing the bill for these eye-watering payments. 

“We cannot keep wasting millions of pounds on talking shops. Scottish Labour have a real plan to spend money where it’s really needed and build a stronger economy.”

The audit found 93 people had multiple appointments on quangos. The total cost of all “repeat” board members was £2.1m.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Public bodies play an essential role in delivery of crucial public services everyone relies on. The public sector benefits from the skills, knowledge, expertise, experience, perspectives and commitment of board members.

“The Scottish Government and its agencies are operating a wider range of responsibilities than ever before in a changing political landscape, whilst delivering value for money for the people of Scotland and protecting public services.”