Scotland's MSPs cost the taxpayer nearly £8m last year in expenses claimed on top on their salaries, according to latest figures.
Keith Raffan said he got behind on his travel expenses
The money paid for staff, travel, accommodation and other costs and
It represented an increase of £400,000, or 5.3%, on the previous year.
Keith Raffan, Lib Dem MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, topped the list, taking £108,826 in allowances, of which £41,154 was for travel.
However, Mr Raffan said the travel sum was for three years, after he fell behind
with his expenses.
"My expenses for the last financial year 2002-03 were significantly inflated
by the payment of a very considerable backlog of travel expenses covering a
three-year period," said Mr Raffan.
He added: "When these are subtracted, my actual expenses incurred in 2002-03 amounted
to under £70,000, which is very much the average for MSPs.
"I did not give my travel expenses sufficient priority.
"I made my constituency and parliamentary work my priority, with the result
that I got behind in my travel expenses."
Expenses top ten
Keith Raffan - £108,826
Jamie Stone - £92,188
Alex Fergusson - £90,285
Alasdair Morrison - £89,397
George Lyon - £87,132
Cathy Jamieson - £85,947
Fergus Ewing - £84, 401
Stewart Stevenson - £84,223
Maureen Macmillan - £83,676
David Mundell - £83,009
Officials said this year's total of £7.9m was mainly attributable to staff and accommodation costs.
But the increase also included one-off payments totalling £298,000 to MSPs who
stood down or lost their seats at the 2003 election.
"The increases in members' staff salaries and office running costs are also reflected in this year's figure," said officials.
MSPs can claim costs of up to £52,000 for employing staff and running a local office.
MSPs who cannot "reasonably" commute to Edinburgh can claim up to £9,900 for accommodation in the capital, and costs of travel for parliamentary duties can also be reclaimed.
Party leaders' allowances are also payable - £10,245 in the case of the SNP's John Swinney, who later stood down, and £10,829 in the case of the Tories' David
The smallest expenses bill - excluding MSPs who stood down in 2003 - was £43,345 for Green Lothians MSP Robin Harper, followed by £45,588 for Labour's
Christine May, who succeeded Henry McLeish as MSP for Central Fife.
SNP Highlands and Islands MSP Rob Gibson received £50,533, while Labour Dunfermline West MSP Scott Barrie had the next lowest at £51,267.
A total of £51,308 went to Tory West of Scotland MSP Annabel Goldie, closely followed by Green Lothians MSP Mark Ballard £51,662 and SNP Glasgow MSP Sandra White £51,970.
SNP Lothians MSP Fiona Hyslop received £52,663, Richard Baker, Labour MSP for North
East Scotland, received £54,682 while Labour MSP Irene Oldfather, who represents Ayrshire's Cunninghame South constituency, received
the ninth smallest total - £54,065.