MSPs claimed a record £16 million in expenses last year.

When money paid out in party leader allowances and the cost of stationery and postage provision was taken into account, the total for 2017-18 was £16.16 million, figures from the Scottish Parliament show.

That was up by £327,611 from the previous year’s total of £15.8 million, although the 2.07% rise in expenses was below the rate of inflation.

A Scottish Parliament spokesman stressed this point, saying: “The cost of expenses incurred in carrying out parliamentary duties rose by less than the rate of inflation last year.”

Of the five party leaders, Lib Dem Willie Rennie claimed the most in expenses, with the North East Fife MSP billing the Parliament for £22,710.95 over 2017-18.

Next was Patrick Harvie of the Scottish Greens, with the Glasgow MSP claiming £20,089.14, followed by SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, who claimed £13,005.47 in expenses for her role as MSP for Glasgow Southside.

Scottish Conservative leader and Edinburgh Central MSP Ruth Davidson claimed a total of £10,738.65 over the year, while Richard Leonard – who was elected Labour leader in November 2017 – claimed £9,003.88 as a Central Scotland MSP.

Ken Macintosh, who is the Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer, claimed £18,155.29 in 2017-18 for his work as an MSP for the West of Scotland region.