Scottish Ministers expenses allowance: FOI release

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

Information requested

1) The expense allowance granted to Scottish Ministers for meals and entertaining and;

2) The number of Ministers that frequent Tom’s Kitchen Commercial Quay, Leith and the subsequent claims made for that establishment through the allowance procedure,


1) In relation to the first part of your question:

Travel and subsistence allowances can be claimed by all employees and ministers who incur out of pocket or additional expenses for travel or meals whilst on official business. The allowances which can be claimed by Ministers when on official business is the same as that for Scottish Government employees. The expenses rate that applies depends on the period of time spent away on official business. For over 5 hours that is £4.90 per day, for over 10 hours £10.70 per day, for over 12 hours £15.60 per day and if the person is away for 24 hours (i.e. an overnight stay) then it is £23.50 (£24.10 in London).

2) In relation to the second part of your question: A record of Ministerial engagements is publicly available via You can find this information here: Ministerial engagements, travel and gifts - (

We have interpreted ‘Tom’s Kitchen’ to be The Kitchin in Leith. We only hold information on Ministerial engagements.

You have not stated the time period for which your query covers, but please note that we only hold information on claims for 2016 onwards. This is in line with UK Government guidance which states we must keep records for three years from the end of the tax year they relate to. You can find this guidance here:

We have searched our records from May 2016 to 2 January 2024 and can confirm we have no record of any Ministers frequenting The Kitchin, Commercial Quay, Leith in a Ministerial capacity and we hold no expense claims made for that establishment through the expenses procedure. For information prior to 2016, this is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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