LABOUR MSP Anne McTaggart was one of a number of MSPs whose claims have been made public after a rise of more than £900,000 in expenses in the last year.
A NEWLY-elected MSP used taxpayers’ money to buy a public speaking guide for “dummies”.
Labour’s Anne McTaggart was left embarrassed yesterday after the latest batch of Holyrood expenses revealed the purchase.
The Glasgow MSP spent £141 on books just a month after being elected in May last year.
The titles included Public Speaking and Presentation for Dummies, The Scottish Parliament: An Introduction and several books on Labour politician Barbara Castle.
The figures show MSPs claimed just over £12.8million in expenses last year, up 8.2 per cent on the previous year.
The rise of £969,436 to £12,818,835 is due to winding-up expenses claimed by MSPs who either stood down or were voted out of the Scottish Parliament at the 2011 elections.
Excluding these costs, MSPs’ total expenses were just over £11.3million, a decrease of £500,000 on the previous year.
A total of 48 MSPs claimed winding-up expenses, which include staff salary costs, staff redundancy and office and accommodation costs.
Who claimed what? A list of what MSPs claimed
Last year’s top spender was Orkney MSP Liam McArthur, who claimed £52,878.
He was followed by Highlands and Islands MSP Dave Thomson and Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles) MSP Alasdair Allan. All three made substantial travel claims.
SNP MSP Annabelle Ewing claimed the lowest amount – £3460.
First Minister Alex Salmond claimed £13,361 for items including office rent, travel costs including mileage, and phone bills.
Labour leader Johann Lamont spent £17,831, which included hotel stays in Edinburgh as well as taxi and train fares.
The Glasgow MSP spent £800 on website costs and more than £1050 on surgery advertising.
Conservative leader Ruth Davidson claimed £20,440.
Her expenses include £148 in June 2011, for staff training entitled “dealing with difficult people”.
Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie claimed £19,738, including £361 on return flights from Edinburgh to Heathrow in July 2011.
Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvie spent £24,266 on expenses including rail passes and hotel stays.