Shamed former SNP minister pockets £155k in expenses despite not attending Parliament
Derek Mackay: ‘Rich’ Scotland can afford to be independent
Derek MacKay resigned as Scotland’s Finance Secretary on the day he was due to deliver the Scottish Budget last year. His resignation on February 6 last year came after details emerged of hundreds of messages he had sent via Instagram and Facebook to a 16-year-old boy.
The Renfrewshire MSP apologised for the incident and Police Scotland concluded no laws had been broken as 16 is the age of consent in Scotland.
Mr MacKay has not been present at Holyrood since the incident although a spokesman for the former SNP minister insisted the MSP still continued to provide a constituency service.
Now, analysis of Scottish Parliament data reveals by the Holyrood elections in May, the senior MSP will have earned more than £155,000.
The figures include £80,588 in salary, a £53,725 in a relocation grant, dubbed a golden goodbye, £8,580 in expenses and £11,945 for standing down as a Scottish Government minister.
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MSPs who stand down or lose at a Holyrood election automatically receive between six and 12 months’ salary under the Scottish Parliamentary Pensions Act of 2009.
MSPs who serve as ministers are also awarded additional ministerial severance payments depending on how much time they serve.
John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told Express.co.uk: “Taxpayers will not forgive politicians that pocket public money while refusing to serve their constituents.
“With the cost of politics ever rising, all elected officials have a duty to put taxpayers first and avoid shameless cash-grabbing.”
Graham Simpson, Scottish Conservative spokesman for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity said the figures were “appalling and shameful”.
Mr Simpson, who is developing a law after MacKay to force MSPs to stand down if they fail to attend Holyrood for six months, added: “The fact that Derek Mackay will pocket over £150,000 on the public purse is utterly appalling and shameful.
“His lack of humility over his behaviour shows exactly why we need to introduce my proposal of Mackay’s Law.
“That will allow MSPs who don’t turn up for their work to be kicked out of parliament.”
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Jackie Baillie MSP, Scottish Labour interim leader urged the SNP to fully kick Mr MacKay out of the SNP.
Mr MacKay was suspended by the SNP but remains an independent MSP on a salary of £64,470 per year and is not expected to stand for reelection.
No by-election was called for by the SNP in his consistency after Mr MacKay resigned.
She also claimed Mr MacKay has been riding a “gravy train” for more than a year.
In response to the concerns, a spokesman for Mr MacKay said the MSP continues to provide a service to locals.
He said: “Mr Mackay and his office are continuing to provide a constituency service, having helped in more than 800 cases on behalf of constituents during the last 12 months, and all expenditure complies with Scottish parliament rules.”
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