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Latest Expenses For Lanarkshire MSP’s Revealed
Lanarkshire’s 14 MSPs claimed almost £300,000 in expenses paid during the last financial year on top of their £58,678 salary.
The figures published last week show the county’s seven constituency MSPs and seven list MSPs claimed a combined total of £291,8438.96 between April 2013 and March 2014.
That’s £16,700.35 more than the previous 12 month’s figures.
The average MSP expenses claim was £20,845.99.
Scottish health minister Alex Neil claimed more in expenses than any other of the 14 Lanarkshire-based MSPs last year.
The Shotts MSP was paid £34,048.99 in allowances on top of his £102,775 salary as Cabinet Secretary.
Mr Neil said the figure was the highest of the county’s MSPs because he lives in Ayr and has 11 surgeries per month, more than any other MSP in Lanarkshire.
The average MSP expenses claim was £20,845.99
Motherwell and Wishaw Labour MSP John Pentland claimed the lowest of all Lanarkshire constituency MSPs at £16,726.21.
He said: The Scottish Parliament expenses scheme quite rightly allows people to see what MSPs spend in a lot of detail, and I think the record shows that I am careful with my allowances, but I don’t look on it as a competition with other MSPs.
“I spend what I need to spend in order to represent my constituents in the constituency, to provide them with a good quality service through my office and surgeries, and to speak out in their interests and of Scotland as a whole in parliamentary debates and committee work.”
Motherwell-based John Wilson who recently defected from the SNP to become an Independent member was the lowest of all 14 county MPS, claiming £11,975.20.
He said: “I worked in the voluntary sector before being elected in 2007.
“I try to ensure I get best value for the public purse.
“I have taken this philosophy into political life.
“The allowance is set by the Parliamentary authorities and it is up to MSPs to justify how much they spend on allowances to the public.
“It is up to the public to see if they are getting value for money.”
SNP MSP Aileen Campbell , who represents the Carluke area, claimed a total of £21,142.43.
The Clydesdale MSP said: “I run a busy constituency office and my expenses reflect the need to be responsive and accessible to my constituents who live across the vast rural area of Clydesdale.”
Lanarkshire is also served by seven Central Scotland list MSPs.
Margaret Mitchell (Conservative) claimed £16,595.20
Margaret McCulloch (Labour) claimed £25,991.60
John Wilson (Independent) claimed £11,975.20
Richard Lyle (SNP) claimed £22,360.41
Mark Griffin (Labour) claimed £14,563.23
Clare Adamson (SNP) claimed £15,174.16
Siobhan McMahon (Labour) claimed £15,891