First Minister and Cabinet Secretaries pay: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/17/01904
Date received: 16 August 2017
Date responded: 14 September 2017

Information requested

(A) What is your salary as FM

(B) What benefits are you allowed – example private healthcare, dental care etc.

(C) Travelling expenses etc. - I presume first class

(D) Any other types of expenses that are allowed that the public should be made aware of

(E) What are the salaries of all MSP Cabinet Ministers

(F) All MSPs salaries and all benefits that they are allowed to claim… the same as yourself on all benefits, the same as yourself on benefits as above

(G) How is the public informed of all this information


Question A and E

Ministers' and MSPs' pay is the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body.

In line with the Scottish Parliament salaries scheme, the First Minister's full salary entitlement for 2017-18 would be £151,721, which covers her duties as an MSP and as First Minister (see

However, since 1 April 2009, Ministers have chosen not to accept their full salary entitlement. This voluntary pay freeze means that Scottish Ministers' take-home pay remains at 2008-09 levels.

As a result, the First Minister's pay for 2017-18 is still based on the 2008-09 entitlement of £135,605. Cabinet Secretaries' salary entitlement for 2017-18 is £108,204. Their pay is also still based on the 2008-09 entitlement of £96,999.

The additional money provided by the pay freeze is made available for public spending. The freeze continues in 2017-18 and for the lifetime of the current Parliament to 2021.

Questions B and F

Guidance on what MSPs are entitled to claim can be found on the Scottish Parliament website:

Question C and G

The Scottish Government routinely publishes monthly Ministerial logs of transparency data to keep the public up to date. This includes engagements, overseas travel (with costs), domestic travel (with costs), car journeys, guest lists and gifts received. Details can be found at the address below:


Question D

Travel and Subsistence (T&S) allowances (including actual receipted costs and flat rate mileage payments) are payable to all Ministers and staff. The general principle in claiming travel and subsistence expenses is that reimbursement is not appropriate unless additional expense is actually incurred in carrying out official business.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

Back to top