The Scottish government has spent £105 million on NHS consultant bonuses since 2007, the Liberal Democrats revealed.

Answers to parliamentary questions submitted by the party also show in 2010-11, the government paid over £27m in distinction awards to consultants.

Lib Dem health spokeswoman Alison McInnes criticised the SNP’s “distorted” priorities, after NHS figures published last month showed the number of nursing posts dropped by over 700 in the six months to March.

She said: “The SNP have got completely distorted priorities.

“While nursing posts are being cut left right and centre in Scotland, the SNP are still paying out a massive amount of money in consultant bonuses each year.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats are clear that the SNP need to get tough on bonuses, they have complete control over the situation.

“The health secretary (Nicola Sturgeon) needs to ask herself what sort of message this sends out to the public as they see frontline services being slashed right across Scotland.

“The health secretary made a huge show about freezing this scheme this year, saying no new awards would be created but this has barely scratched the surface.

“The SNP need to take much more decisive action.

“The SNP need to stop dithering and delaying and sort their skewed priorities out.”

A Scottish government spokesman said a freeze on the value of existing awards and a suspension on making any new awards is in place.

He added: “Under the previous administration spending on distinction awards increased by 60%, whereas this Scottish government has frozen distinction awards since 2009/10, resulting in a saving of almost £3 million.

“We were instrumental in achieving a UK-wide review of distinction awards which was carried out by the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body.

“We will look carefully at the findings of the review, expected to be published in the autumn, and act accordingly.”