Fife MSPs claim over £92k in expenses

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Fife’s constituency MSPs claimed over £92,000 in expenses last year.

The latest spending figures were released by the Scottish Parliament last week.

Kirkcaldy MSP David Torrance claimed back £18,818 – less than that claimed by his counterparts elsewhere in the Kingdom.

The majority of the SNP politican’s expenditure was on office costs – a total of £15,845 – covering everything from rent and utilities to advertising, printing and photocopying and hall hires.

He spent an additional £1300 on travel – with all but £3.36 of that on rail fares.

Glenrothes MSP Jenny Gilruth claimed £26,633 and in North East Fife, Lib Dem MSP Willie Rennie £26,718.

Ms Gilruth claimed almost £19,000 on office costs and £2528 on travel.

Mr Rennie’s office expenditure totalled £18,068 with another £5152 spent on travel, including rail and bus fares as well as car mileage.

Dunfermline MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville’s expenses totalled £20,502.

Almost £17,000 of this was on office costs, however the SNP MSP only spent £809 on travel.

The figures show elected members in Fife made hundreds of claims for expenses related to their parliamentary duties.

Alongside their salary, MSPs are entitled to claim back costs incurred in the carrying out of their parliamentary and constituency duties.

Looking through the detailed list, which is available to view on the parliamentary website, the local politicians have been spending little out of the ordinary.

The lists include a wide range of items and categories including travel expenditure - both on public transport and car mileage – office and staff expenses for their constituency offices and the cost of advertising.

The politicians are entitled to claim back their spending as long as it relates to their parliamentary duties.

There were also claims of over £40,000 made by list MSPs for Mid Scotland and Fife, including Alex Rowley (£9273), Claire Baker (£10,804) and Annabelle Ewing (£20, 787).

In 2018-19 the overall expenditure, reimbursed and paid on behalf of Scottish Parliament members, totalled £16.80 million.

This is an increase of 3.9 per cent from the previous year when the national total crossed the £16 million barrier for the first time.