Financial Assistance to Non-Government Groups

Section 97 of the Scotland Act 1998 provides for an Order in Council to allow the SPCB to provide assistance for opposition parties (link: by making payments to registered political parties in the Parliament “for the purpose of assisting members of the Parliament who are connected with such parties to perform their Parliamentary duties.”

To be eligible, a party may have no more Ministers or Junior Ministers than one fifth of the total number of Ministers and Junior Ministers within the Scottish Government. An eligible party is entitled to an annual sum based on the number of members of the Parliament who are connected to the party, and the Assistance Order makes provision for annual up-rating of this sum.

Financial Assistance to Non-Government Parties: 2016-17

The table shows the amounts eligible parties actually claimed in the period 2016-17. It is split into two periods because of the general election in May 2016. The first period from 1 April 2011 to the day before the election of the Scottish Ministers and the second period is the remainder of the 2016-17 year. The annual entitlement per member was £7,977.38

First Period   Second period    Total  

Eligible party 



Eligible Amount £ Members Eligible Amount £

Total Eligible Amount £

Amounts claimed £
 Scottish Labour Party  38  40,807.37  24 165,684.04  206,491.41  205,662.94
Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party 15 16,108.17 31 214,008.56  230,116.73  228,923.45
 Scottish Liberal Democrats  5  5,369.39  5 34,517.51  39,886.90  32,410.81
 Scottish Green Party  2  2,147.76  6 41,421.01  43,568.77  32,025.45
 Total  60    66    520,063.81  499,022.65

Payments are only made for expenses incurred and claims must include a breakdown of what is being claimed and a statement that the expenses have been claimed were incurred by the Party exclusively for the purpose of assisting Members of the Parliament who are connected with the Party to perform their Parliamentary duties. A certificate must be provided to the Parliament by an independent professional auditor annually.



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