Thursday, 9 October 2008

Family Friendly.

Mr Smith thinks there has been a very big gap in the disclosure rules for MSPs ever since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament as regards MSPs employing members of their own families with minimal public scrutiny. Well, it would appear that the Scottish Parliamentary authorities are now acting to close the loop hole, but it won't apply to MSPs having to declare employing family members of other MSPs.

Mr Smith is aware of some MSPs that have employed each others spouses in the past.

"MSPs have been given 30 days to register details of any relatives working for them. The deadline is part of new rules on MSPs’ expenses that came into force yesterday. Under a revamp of the allowances to which MSPs are entitled, members must tell the Scottish Parliament authorities of any relative they employ. The requirement covers husbands, wives, civil partners and cohabitees, as well as parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, brother, sisters, uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces. It will not apply to MSPs who employ relatives of other MSPs."

Perhaps that loop hole should be closed as well, given that it clearly could influence the deliberations of one MSP in relation to the actions of another if they happened to employ a family member?

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