MSPs can claim money back for "expenses" (costs). These must be costs from carrying out their duties in Parliament or helping their constituents.
Financial assistance to non-Government groups
The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) provides financial assistance to opposition parties in the Parliament. This is sometimes known as 'Short money'.
Financial assistance to non-Government parties: 2020-21
The table shows the amounts eligible parties actually claimed in the period 2020-21. The annual entitlement per member was £8,926.20.
|Eligible party||Members||Total eligible amount (£)||Amounts claimed (£)|
|Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party||31||276,712.20||275,979.65|
|Scottish Green Party||6||53,557.20||51,241.33|
|Scottish Liberal Democrats||5||44,631.00||44,533.77|
Payments are only made for expenses incurred. Claims must include a breakdown of what is being claimed. They must also include a statement that the expenses claimed were incurred by the party exclusively for the purpose of assisting MSPs who are connected with the party to perform their Parliamentary duties. A certificate must be provided to the Parliament by an independent professional auditor annually.
Financial audit certificates
The Scotland Act 1998 provided for an Order in Council to allow the SPCB to provide assistance for opposition parties by making payments to registered political parties in the Parliament “for the purpose of assisting members of the Parliament who are connected with such parties to perform their Parliamentary duties.”