Government advisers bill rises by £1m

The pay bill for the Government’s special advisers has rocketed by £1m – an increase of 16 per cent, according to official figures.

The Cabinet Office disclosed the total paid out for advisers to Ministers – including “spin doctors” and other political appointees – in 2012-13 was £7.2m compared with £6.2m the previous year.

The rise in part reflects an increase in the number of so-called “Spads” working in Whitehall from 85 to 98, despite a promise in the coalition agreement to limit the numbers.

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It means the coalition is now spending more on special advisers than the £6.8m paid out in the last year of the Labour government under Gordon Brown.

Officials said the additional numbers were necessary to meet the “unusual circumstances” of two-party government.

“Special advisers play an important role in Whitehall, advising ministers and contributing to the smooth running of government,” a Cabinet Office spokesman said.”