Friday, 9 January 2009


Mr Smith finds it hard to believe that some of our elected representatives would have the audacity to use publicly funded Parliamentary postage and materials to send out communications to their constituents in an attempt to win themselves more votes in the run up to an election. Then again ... perhaps he doesn't. But yet again the Holyrood authorities seem to have closed the stable door after the horses have already bolted ... and been re-elected.

"MSPS HAVE been banned from spending more than £5000 a year on office supplies following fears they were using the publicly-funded system to boost their re-election chances. Holyrood officials imposed the cap after MSPs racked up a record spend on postage and stationery last year. The £477,000 bill, up 75% from the previous year, was incurred while MSPs were trying to regain their places in the parliament."

And some of the worst offenders? Step forward ... "Christine Grahame, the SNP MSP for South of Scotland, who spent £26,465 on central office supplies ... Her bill was around seven times the average and almost 10 times the £2701 she spent in 2005-06. Another big spender was Labour's Cathy Craigie, who racked up £17,302 while defending a 520-vote majority in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth. Craigie's office spend was more than triple the £5358 she used from the central budget the previous year. Fellow Labour MSPs Wendy Alexander and Jackie Baillie were close to the top of the office supplies league table, spending £14,450 and £14,649 respectively."

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