• John Mortimer

Holyrood Gravy Train is Shameful Amidst Austerity

Abolish the Scottish Parliament Party is appalled that while businesses and ordinary Scots struggle with job losses, recession and austerity, MSPs at Holyrood are still riding the devolution gravy train at the taxpayer’s expense.

The total cost of the Scottish parliament is now well in excess of £100 Million annually, including millions on MSP’s salaries, millions on their entourage of staff and millions more on expenses. The salary entitlement of the First Minister at Holyrood is £157,861; higher than the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Even with the very modest pay freeze in effect, the First Minister and all cabinet ministers earn salaries equivalent to several times the average Scottish wage.

Despite declaring a 'climate emergency' and burdening Scots with punitive green taxes, in one year alone £219,819.85 was claimed on care hire and vehicle mileage by MSPs and their staff. Despite ordinary Scots having to pay much more for a drink because of Holyrood’s minimum pricing laws, Holyrood hosts a taxpayer-subsidised bar for MSPs!

The greed of some leading MSPs is particularly shocking. Patrick Harvie, the embodiment of the privileged, out of touch politician, claimed £29,023.99 in a single year. Labour’s Richard Leonard wasn’t far behind on £27,024.74, and neither was the Lib Dem’s Willie Rennie on £26,718.09.

In response to a 2015 FoI request, the Treasury put the average ‘pay bill’ for a teacher at £45,500 and £42,000 for a nurse. Adjusted for inflation, this means we could employ over 1,000 extra teachers and 1,000 extra nurses every year in Scotland if we abolished Holyrood and spent that money on the NHS and education instead.

Abolish the Scottish Parliament Party proposes doing just that, and we will put the option to the electorate next May when we field candidates across all eight of Scotland’s list regions. It’s time to stop the gravy train!