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Last Updated: Monday, 9 July 2007, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Salmond salary to fund new trust
Alex Salmond
The first minister said the trust would help north-east groups
First Minister Alex Salmond is to set up a charitable trust, funded by his MSPs salary.

The trust is expected to generate about 18,000 a year until the next General Election, and will fund youth and community projects in the north-east.

As MP for Banff and Buchan, Mr Salmond receives 60,675, as well as a third of his 53,091 salary as MSP for Gordon.

Mr Salmond said Holyrood officials told him he had to accept his MP's salary plus one third of his MSP's pay.

In a statement, he said the new trust would be named the Mary Salmond Trust after his late mother.

I pledged that for the time I represent the north-east as an MSP and as an MP, that I would only personally benefit from one parliamentary salary
Alex Salmond

In addition to both salaries, Mr Salmond also collects 77,000 as first minister.

Before the Scottish election he said he would draw just one salary if he was also elected as an MSP.

He said: "I pledged that for the time I represent the north-east as an MSP and as an MP, that I would only personally benefit from one parliamentary salary and not the one plus a third the rules stipulate.

"By establishing this trust, I am redeeming that commitment, and in so doing, allowing north east community organisations to benefit.

"The trust is named 'The Mary Salmond Trust' in honour of my late mother who spent a lifetime supporting community organisations, particularly as a Girl Guider."

'Quick fix'

Mr Salmond attracted criticism last week from the Liberal Democrats who called on him to quit as an MP after it emerged he had not spoken in the House of Commons since becoming first minister.

In response to the first minister's plan to set up the new trust, Alistair Carmichael Lib Dem MP for Orkney and Shetland said: "This arrangement means that Mr Salmond will no longer benefit financially as a result of having three jobs.

"It does not, however, change the fact that he cannot cover both constituencies.

"It would be far more sensible for him to resign his Westminster seat and let someone else do that job."

The news has also angered opposition Labour politicians who described the move as a cynical attempt to "spin" the issue.

The party's health spokesman Andy Kerr said: "The tax paying public are right to feel angry, let down and double crossed by Alex Salmond's empty words.

"Salmond promised he would only claim one parliamentary salary and he hasn't. Instead his spin doctors have been desperately scrabbling around for a quick fix. "




SEE ALSO
Salmond vows to take one salary
04 Jul 07 |  Scotland
Salmond urged to go 'full-time'
28 Jun 07 |  Scotland
Salmond achieves Holyrood victory
04 May 07 |  North East/N Isles

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