Committee Bill to increase transparency introduced

Stewart Stevenson MSP
Stewart Stevenson MSP

A new Bill to increase the transparency of MSPs’ financial interests has been introduced by Stewart Stevenson MSP on behalf of the Scottish Parliament’s Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee.

The Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament (Amendment) Bill is the first Committee Bill this session and follows a detailed inquiry where the Committee made a number of recommendations to streamline the reporting process for MSPs’ financial interests as well as widening the rules on paid advocacy.

Following Parliament’s agreement, the Committee has now introduced a Bill to make these changes happen.

Speaking on introduction, Committee Convener, Stewart Stevenson MSP said: “The need for a robust and rigorous regime for members registering financial interests is clear. The public need to know about a member’s financial interests so they can judge whether the member might be influenced.

“Our Bill builds on the already comprehensive system in place to make sure arrangements at the Scottish Parliament mean the public can have the confidence in those they elect.”

Measures contained within the Bill include:

Lowering the threshold for registering gifts to 0.5% of a member’s salary.

Ending ‘dual reporting’ which saw financial interests reported to the Scottish Parliament and the Electoral Commission.