MSP and Ministerial salary entitlements: FOI release

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

Information requested

"The annual figure that N Sturgeon has drawn as her salary from 2008/09 till April 2022. ie has the full salary for her roll been taken and taxed or has she only been paid her 2008/09 salary each year. Also a breakdown of what public Ministers that have "made available £250k" from their pay packet, was it taxed before being made available and how much each made available."


In 2021-22, Scottish Ministers froze their pay for the thirteenth year running, recognising the wider economic and fiscal pressures as well as the restraints placed on public sector pay.

Since 1 April 2009, Scottish Ministers have declined to accept their full salary entitlement, and their take-home pay remains at 2008‑09 levels – a difference of 16.4 per cent compared with the 2021-22 rate (which is unchanged compared with 2020-21).

From the start of the pay freeze in April 2009, Scottish Ministers have made over £1,160,000 available for public spending from their own pay packets (£1,167,573 to 31 March 2021). The voluntary pay freeze will remain in force for the whole of the Parliament.

Difference between 2008-09 and the 2021-22 gross salary entitlements:

(MSP + Ministerial pay)

2021-22 salary entitlement

2008-09 salary entitlement

Difference £

Difference %

First Minister





Cabinet Secretary










Ministerial and MSP salaries are set and paid by the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government has no role in this. Salaries are agreed by the whole Parliament in line with proposals put forward by the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body.

The rules of the Scottish Parliament Salaries Scheme do not give the power to withhold an annual increase from the gross salary entitlement. To achieve the required reduction, the pay increases to which Ministers and Law Officers would have been entitled are deducted from their net salary and paid direct to the Scottish Government to be made available for public spending.

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 Andrews House
Regent Road

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