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Scots ministers agree pay freeze

All Scottish Government ministers have agreed to a pay freeze this year.

The freeze will apply to their ministerial income and their salaries as individual MSPs, which would have gone up by 2.33%.

The Scottish Government claimed it was aligning itself with the plight many people were facing in the current economic difficulties

The pay freeze will also apply to First Minister Alex Salmond's ministerial salary of £80,224. But it will not apply to the salary he takes as a Westminster MP.

The pay freeze does not apply to MSPs who are not ministers. Their £55,381 salary is to increase by 2.33% in line with the increase for Westminster MPs.

The five Scottish cabinet secretaries make £41,618 and 10 junior ministers get £26,069, on top of their MSP pay.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "It is reflective of the pressures that are on families and individuals just now. Ministers are showing a lead in pay issues. The first minister invited ministers to do this, and they are content to move forward with that position."

Under the rules of devolution, Mr Salmond takes his MP's salary, and also takes one-third of his Holyrood salary - £18,461 - which he then donates to a charitable trust.

His spokesman said that in Mr Salmond's case the freeze would apply to his ministerial salary, but not to his MP's salary.

He would give the charitable trust extra money to compensate for the additional cash it would have received if his MSP salary had not been frozen.

The freeze on Scottish ministerial salaries will save £15,000 over 2009-10.

Under current rules, MSP salaries are set at 87.5% of MP pay levels.

See also:
Westminster MPs travel expenses claims 2007-2008 [714 KB  PDF]
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