1. ITV Report

MSPs claim more than £16m in expenses for first time

MSP expenses rose to almost £16.16 million in 2017-18 (Jane Barlow/PA) Photo: PA Wire/PA Images

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.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie Credit: Jane Barlow/PA

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.