MSP defends his £54k expenses claims

Chic Brodie MSP.
Chic Brodie MSP.

An MSP for the South of Scotland has defended his expenses claims after he was revealed to be the costliest politician in the Scottish Parliament.

SNP’s Chic Brodie claimed a whopping £54,297 in expenses for the financial year 2013/14 but says the current system is flawed.

Mr Brodie said: “There is nothing here for me to defend myself on.

“The current system in Parliament for expenses is not fit for purpose.

“The way that they provide information does not show the true costings.

“It doesn’t show you the breakdown of my direct staff, my outsourced staff and my costings for things like stationery.

“I have actually set up my own website which details every one of my expenses claims and I think I must be one of the only MSPs to do that.

“I have a budget of £66,665 a year for staff support. Out of that we pay £4,000 to a central team to help us with the press.

“That brings it down to £62,665 and out of that I am only paying £17,182 in direct costs as I only have one direct member of staff so I’m actually under my staff budget by £45,000.

“£32,000 of my costings are spent on outsourcing my staff and I have always felt that is the right way to do things.

“They deal with many of my projects and constituents case work and a lot of that is very personal.

Mr Brodie was criticised last year after he claimed more than £40,000 worth of expenses but said he made his point clear to people at the parliament at the time.

He said: “I was foaming at the mouth at the powers at be at the Parliament over their system and told them that it wasn’t fit for purpose.

“When you look in more details you will find I am one of the lowest spending MSPs.”

Adam Ingram MSP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley claimed £17,383 in his expenses for the financial year 2013/14 which was down from £19,906 in 2012/13.

Meanwhile John Scott, the MSP for Ayr claimed £26,573 from the taxpayerwhich included nearly £300 on tea, coffee and biscuits.

The total expenses bill for the 129 MSP’s at the Scottish Parliament was £12,523,959, an increase of £262,140 on the figure that members had charged to the taxpayer in the previous year.