Monday, 2 November 2009


Subrosa has brought to our attention this morning that Members of the Scottish parliament are to be allowed by the Scottish Parliament's Corporate Body to charge the cost of poppy wreaths to their expenses if they representing Holyrood when laying them.

Technically, of course, you could say that if you are doing a job on behalf of your employer then the materials you need to do the job should be provided by that employer. But, as Subrosa points out the poppy wreaths cost only around £16. There is cheapness, a tawdriness, about the idea of laying a wreath and rushing off to collect expenses for doing it.

Mindful that MSPs’ salaries are in the order of £53,000, a site more than most of the rest of us earn, I think that MSPs should think very carefully about their own fortunate position before they make that claim.

The people we are commemorating with these poppy wreaths gave a very great deal more than £16.

I am happy to add my voice to Subrosa’s appeal for the MSPs to pay for their own wreath or wreaths.


  1. If they are laying the wreath as part of their job then it is a legitimate expense. After all they may very well also be laying one on behalf of themselves personally and they may have to do it more than once. Who is to know how much they may wish to spend to personalise any wreath they wish to lay on behalf of themselves personally. I’m sorry if I pay for something it comes from me not from my employer, that decision is up to me as is how much I wish to spend.

  2. I can see your point Munguin, indeed I said as much in my piece. Of course I respect your right to disagree.

    I still think that, given their enormous good fortune compared with the rest of us that they should pay the money themselves. There is something incredibly tacky about claiming money for a wreath.