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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 December, 2003, 20:05 GMT
MSPs' expenses revealed
The Scottish Parliament
The cost of running the parliament was amost 48m
Five MSPs each ran up 80,000 in expenses last year, according to the latest statistics.

The salaries of 129 MSPs totalled 9m, the annual report by the parliament's Corporate Body has revealed.

The statistics show that MSPs claimed 7.5m in expenses in 2002 - 300,000 more than the previous year.

Tories Alex Fergusson and David Mundell, Liberal Democrats Jamie Stone and George Lyon and Labour's Alasdair Morrison were the highest earners.

Travel costs

Mr Fergusson, now MSP for Galloway and Upper Nithsdale, claimed 81,549 in expenses.

This included 42,241 to cover office costs, 9,523 for accommodation in Edinburgh, 11,050 in travel expenses and 11,205 for stationery.

Mr Mundell, a list MSP for the South of Scotland, claimed 80,327, including 10,498 in travel costs and 14,403 for office supplies.

The travelling expenses for Mr Stone, Mr Lyon and Mr Morrison were higher because they represent large, remote constituencies

Sir David Steel claimed 34,925 and Tory MSP Bill Aitken 35,037.

'Resettlement grants'

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott claimed the most in travel expenses at 23,230.

Scottish Socialist Party leader Tommy Sheridan and his Green counterpart Robin Harper were the only MSPs who claimed the full 50,700 support allowance.

Parliament spent 47.9m on running costs in 2002/2003, which included 9.1m in MSPs' salaries.

Twenty six MSPs who either lost their seats or quit parliament at the last election received a total of 626,964 in "resettlement grants".

In the report, Presiding Officer George Reid acknowledged the "frustrations" associated with the continuing delays and rising costs of the Holyrood building project.

But he said interest in the on-site visitors centre has been "extremely positive and encouraging".


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