By a Newsnet reporter
The SNP has reacted angrily to plans by the UK Treasury to use public finances in order to recruit an individual in Scotland in order to counter the campaign for Scottish independence.
The role, advertised by the UK government department, will see the successful applicant paid £50,000 of public cash in order to promote what it claims are the benefits of the Union.
The role will become redundant in December 2014, immediately after the independence referendum.
Commenting on the revelation, SNP Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie accused the UK Government of planning to open a Treasury office in Scotland with the sole purpose of spreading anti-independence rhetoric.
Mr Hosie said:
"The Treasury currently employ not a single person in Scotland - it is disgraceful that they should be spending yet more public money trying to stop the people of Scotland voting for independence, when George Osborne should be doing everything he can to reverse the deep recession that the Tory/Lib Dem Treasury is responsible for.
"The disastrous job-destroying policies of the Tory/Lib Dem Treasury is a perfect illustration of exactly why Scotland needs to secure job-creating powers with independence."
According to the Treasury advert, the successful applicant will be based in Scotland but will split their working time between London and Edinburgh. He or she will be expected to “use their location and relationships to bring significant depth and colour to analysis on the benefits of the UK.”
The job description calls on the postholder to produce “discrete” analysis in order to brief UK Ministers to help them deliver pro-Union economic messages to the Scottish electorate.
The successful applicant will also help establish and maintain “a comprehensive set of relationships with key Scottish stakeholders from business, academia and civic society, including helping to organise events.”
Interviews for the post are to be held in early August 2012.