Holyrood reveals final spending bill for absent MSP Derek Mackay

Former SHAMED Finance Secretary Derek Mackay claimed nearly £ 10,000 in expenses in his final year as MSP despite never attending Holyrood, he revealed.

New figures from the Scottish Parliament show it charged taxpayers £ 9,786 for 2020/21.

He also claimed £ 4,406 in February and March 2020, immediately following his resignation in a sleazy scandal, making a total of £ 14,192 in claims while he was out of the MSP.

Most of the complaints concerned the rents for his constituency office and an apartment in Edinburgh.

Mr Mackay resigned on the eve of the Scottish budget on February 6, 2020 after the Scottish Sun revealed he had harassed a 16-year-old schoolboy on social media.

The newspaper reported that the 42-year-old contacted the boy out of the blue without knowing his age the previous August, then sent him 270 messages in six months.

Mr. Mackay, who revealed his homosexuality in 2013, had been nominated as future prime minister until the scandal abruptly ended his political career.

The Renfrewshire North and West MSP has not been seen again at Holyrood, and the SNP has selected a new candidate for its seat in 2021.

However, Mr Mackay continued to receive his base salary of £ 64,470.

He received an automatic grant of £ 11,945 for the loss of his ministerial post following his resignation.

He also got another automatic relocation grant of £ 53,725 after ceasing to be an MSP, the first £ 30,000 of which was tax-free.

His latest spending statements emerged when parliament revealed that MSPs had claimed a total of £ 17.3million in spending in 2020/21, when Holyrood was largely closed due to Covid.

The parliament made more use of remote working during closings, which meant that PSMs could participate in debates and vote without being physically present.

The total, which includes staff and office costs, increased 1.8% from the previous 12 months.

Data for the most recent year shows total expenditure to be £ 17,288,534, an increase of over £ 300,000 from the previous year.

The Party Leader Allowance has increased from £ 36,873 to £ 38,778.

Spending paid to individual members increased 2% to £ 16,749,902.

The bulk of this amount was made up of MSP staff salaries and pensions at £ 13,891,973.

Stationery and postage expenses fell from over £ 30,000 to £ 499,854.

Travel costs also fell from £ 353,017 to £ 169,218.

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