A probe has found that the number of senior staff being paid a basic salary of £60,000 or more at the country’s top non-governmental bodies has rocketed nearly 20 per cent over the last five years.
The rising bill comes despite pledges from politicians over the years to curb quango spending.
David Cameron and Alex Salmond have both previously called for cash paid to them to be better managed.
In 2009, Cameron said: “We’ll never get control of public spending unless we get control of quangos.”
As far back as 1999, Mr Salmond insisted: “I think Scotland needs a bonfire of the quangos.”
Despite the tough talk, billions were paid to Scotland’s quangos last year, with critics claiming the public is now fed up with the sky-high wages enjoyed by the so-called quangocrats.
TaxpayerScotland’s Eben Wilson said: “Taxpayers are sick of political parties promising to get rid of quangos and then reneging on that.
“There’s very little accountability and transparency in how most of these bodies operate with salaries and rewards having very little bearing on performance.
“Taxpayers cannot be expected to fund these ludicrous salaries when families up and down the country have to tighten their belts.
“Our investigation looked at the dozens of organisations on the Scottish Government’s National Public Bodies Directory that provide a wide variety of services.”