For immediate release: Sunday 27 November 2016

Attn: Newsdesks and Political Correspondents

SALMOND JOINS CALLS FOR APOLOGY AS LABOUR ATTACK ON SNP BACKFIRES

PRESSURE GROWS AS OFFICIAL FIGURES REVEAL SNP MPs COST LESS AND WORK HARDER THAN PREDECESSORS

Alex Salmond has joined calls on Scottish Labour to apologise for its bogus attack on the SNP after official figures revealed that SNP MPs cost less and work harder than their predecessors.

New figures published by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) confirm that in 2015/16 SNP MPs cost over £1million (£1,140,801.64) less than their Scottish Labour and Lib Dem predecessors did in 2014/15. On average SNP MPs cost over £21,000 less than their predecessors.

Last week Scottish Labour used incorrect figures, which under-reported the expenses of their former MPs, to launch an erroneous attack on SNP MPs. IPSA has since issued a written acknowledgement and apology to the SNP for publishing incorrect data, but Scottish Labour has failed to issue its own retraction despite growing calls to do so.

Separately, the SNP has also published new figures from House of Commons Library research revealing that SNP MPs work harder than their Scottish Labour and Lib Dem predecessors, and are some of the most active MPs at Westminster:

  • In 2015-16, SNP MPs spoke in an average of 61 debates. This compares to an average of just 27 for their predecessors in 2014-15.
  • Since the 2015 General Election, SNP MPs have each tabled an average of 80 written parliamentary questions. In total, SNP MPs have tabled over 4,000 written parliamentary questions - holding UK government ministers to account.
  • Since the 2015 General Election, SNP MPs have tabled over 1,000 EDMs - helping bring attention to the important issues facing local communities, the people of Scotland and the UK.
  • Since the 2015 General Election, SNP MPs have contributed to the work of 77 Select Committees, Sub-Committees, Bill Committees and Commissions – including chairing 3 Select Committees.
  • Since the 2015 General Election, SNP MPs have voted in an average of 84% of votes that they are eligible to participate in.

Mr Salmond, who personally came under attack from Scottish Labour, made 331 spoken contributions in the Commons in 2015/16 compared to just 57 contributions made by his predecessor in 2014/15. Lord Bruce also claimed £44,303 more in expenses in 2014/15 than Mr Salmond in 2015/16.

Commenting Alex Salmond MP said:

"We now have official confirmation from IPSA that SNP MPs do indeed cost less than their Labour and Lib Dem predecessors - over £1 million less. Parliamentary records are also clear that SNP MPs are working much harder too - with some MPs making more contributions in their first year than their predecessors did in the entire five years of the last parliament.
"This has been a huge embarrassment for the Labour Party in particular, who had seized on bogus figures to launch an underhand attack on the SNP, only for it to spectacularly backfire now we know for certain that SNP MPs cost less and do a better job. Labour should now do the decent thing and apologise.
"SNP MPs are proving they are a strong voice for Scotland – standing up for Scotland's interests, and providing the only strong, united and effective opposition to the Tories at Westminster."

ENDS
 
Notes for Editors:
 
IPSA expenses figures:

  • SNP MPs’ expenses in 2015/16 totalled: £8,535,513.49. The expenses of non-SNP MPs from Scotland in 2014/15 totalled: £9,676,315.13.
  • The total expenses of SNP MPs in 2015/16 were £1,140,801.64 less than their non-SNP predecessors in 2014/15.
  • SNP MPs cost an average of over £21,000 less than their predecessor.
  • SNP MPs who inherited their seat from Scottish Labour had expenses worth £6,006,407.62 in 2015/16. Their Scottish Labour predecessors had total expenses worth £7,470,491.90 in 2014/15.
  • Scottish Labour MPs therefore cost the taxpayer £1,464,084.28 more than the SNP MPs who succeeded them.

Alex Salmond MP:

  • Alex Salmond MP had total parliamentary staff, office and travel expenses of £172,434.07 in 2015/16.
  • Lord Bruce had total expenses of £216,737.41 in 2014/15, some £44,303 higher than Mr Salmond's total.
  • In 2015/16 Alex Salmond made 331 spoken contributions in the Commons. In 2014/15 Lord Bruce made just 57 spoken contributions.

All figures for MPs expenses provided by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). Contact IPSA press office: 0207811 6462 (office hours) 07792 242736, 07585 853071 (out of hours).

All figures for MPs parliamentary activity taken from Hansard and the House of Commons Library.