Scotland politics

MSPs in line for 1.8% pay rise next year

scottish parliament Image copyright PA
Image caption Scottish government ministers, including the first minister, will continue with a voluntary pay freeze, tying salaries to their 2008/09 level

MSPs are to be given a 1.8% pay rise next year - taking the first minister's entitlement to more than £150,000.

The increase means Nicola Sturgeon's salary entitlement would rise to £151,269. The UK prime minister is currently paid £149,440 a year.

Scottish cabinet secretaries will get £108,203, and backbench MSPs £61,777.

The Scottish government confirmed Ms Sturgeon and her ministers will continue with a voluntary pay freeze tying salaries to their 2008/09 level.

The extra cash will be put into a public spending fund.

The Scottish Parliamentary salaries scheme now directly links MSPs' salaries to public-sector pay rises in Scotland using the annual survey of hours and earnings published by the Office for National Statistics.

Non-MSP staff

Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw, a member of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, told the Finance and Constitution Committee on Wednesday: "Using this index, I can confirm that an increase of 1.8% will be applied in April 2017."

The committee was told that non-MSP staff working directly for the parliament would get "about the same" as the 1.8% rise.

The corporate body's submission to the committee said the pay boost for MSPs is expected to cost a total of £200,000 as not all members are expected to claim the full entitlement.

Historically, MSPs were paid 87.5% of an MP's wage but Holyrood voted to scrap this scheme in 2015 in favour of the new system after agreeing it would be "politically unthinkable" to accept the 9% increase then on the table.

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said party leader Ruth Davidson would increase her private charitable donations commensurately with the increase, as she did last year.