MSPs claimed £12.2 million in expenses last year

The expenses claimed by MSPs at Holyrood increased by more than £270,000 last year to reach £12.2 million it has emerged.

Parliament officials say the rise is down to the departure of many MSPs at the Holyrood election earlier this year.

Once this is taken into account, the increase is still in line with inflation, officials say.

The lions share of expenses goes on the salaries and pensions costs of MSPs staff which reached £9.54 million in 2015/16, up from £9.17 million the year before. But this included £193,544 in winding up costs for staff which has almost doubled from the year before.

A Scottish Parliament spokesman said: "Once election-related winding up costs are taken into account, the rise in 2015-16 expenses is in line with inflation."

The figures, which cover the period before the Holyrood election, also include allowances for the main party leaders with Nicola Sturgeon and Labour's Kezia Dugdale getting £28,514, while Ruth Davidson of the Tories received £14,961.

Childcare vouchers accounted for £27,574 of expenses, roughly in line with teh previous year, while security related and disability provision dropped slightly to £18,611. is the online edition of Scotland's favourite newspapers, that brings you your Daily news. Every day we bring you the best in Scottish news, sport, entertainment and opinion, including breaking news, picture galleries, videos and live blogs.

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