"Busier than ever" MSPs get pay rise

MSPs are in line for a pay rise next year taking their basic salary to £62,149.

Jackson Carlaw says MSPs are "busier than ever"

The 0.6% increase was confirmed in the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) budget bid for 2018/19.

Since 2015, salaries for MSPs have been directly linked to public-sector pay rises in Scotland rather than MPs' pay, as in the past.

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The increase is set against an uplift in the Scottish Parliament's total budget requirement from £97.6 million in the current year to £102.3 million for 2018/19.

Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw, a member of the SPCB, told Holyrood's Finance and Constitution Committee that the parliament was facing pressures including increased parliamentary activity, the impact of Brexit and ongoing reform.

He said there had been a 45% increase in overall business in the first year of the current parliament compared to the first year of the last parliament, with more and longer committee meetings impacting on resources.

He said: "It's the corporate body's view that our parliament is busier than ever, it's facing significant change and this, combined with the impact of its new powers, means that it's no longer sustainable to continue to fund these recurring costs from our contingency.

"Therefore, the corporate body proposes a budget which aims to reflect the new circumstances the parliament faces and, in doing so, it proposes a medium time financial plan which seeks to address known pressures, anticipated risks and opportunities to improve parliament's performance in a planned and proportionate manner through to the end of this session."