Stamp books and train tickets from Carnoustie to Arbroath are among the smallest of expenses local MSPs claimed back last year.
Elected members in Dundee and Angus made hundreds of claims for expenses related to their parliamentary duties in 2018/19, according to data published by the Scottish Parliament yesterday.
Alongside their salary of £61,778, MSPs are entitled to claim back costs on staff, their offices and travel that relate to their work in parliament and in their constituency.
However, some members have claimed for as little as £1.40 on postage stamps – or mileage for two-mile journeys to work.
Shona Robison, Dundee City East MSP and former health secretary, submitted 37 claims below £10 last year – including nine 90p claims for mileage covered between her home and her office in Douglas and a 54p claim for “catering”.
Her office said: “This journey is considered by HMRC as commuting travel as the local office is considered the permanent and main place of employment.
“Any journey claimed by members from home to local office is taxed through the member’s salary at source.”
Dundee City West MSP Joe FitzPatrick made few small claims – largely reclaiming costs for office window cleaning – but put in for £8,942 of hotel costs while staying in Edinburgh.
His office said all claims were submitted in line with the parliamentary expenses policy.
North East Labour MSP Jenny Marra submitted 10 claims below £10 in 2018/19.
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On her smallest claim, a £4.85 taxi fare in February, she explained she had been running late for a meeting with the chief inspector of education and would have otherwise walked.
North East Conservative reps Bill Bowman and Liam Kerr put in for 53 and 52 claims apiece for expenses below £10.
A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: “All expenses are scrutinised by the parliament’s allowances office.
“Our MSPs follow the rules and ask for reimbursement in line with them.”
Elsewhere, SNP MSP for Angus North and Mearns Mairi Gougeon claimed back £1.40 for postage.
Her office said: “All costs are according to the rules and incurred in undertaking parliamentary duties.”
Angus South SNP MSP Graeme Dey put in a claim for a £2.90 single train fare between Carnoustie and Arbroath.
When asked if he believed all of his expense claims were justifiable, he said: “Yes.”
The perceived thriftiness of some of the claims has been criticised by activists such as Michael Taylor, of Unite the Community Tayside.
He said: “Shame on them. If they can pay that much attention to detail to reimburse themselves by filling out an expense claim, then surely they can put the same amount of effort on their communities.
“We know there are hundreds, if not thousands, of families and children living in poverty.”
Tele columnist and poverty campaigner Ewan Gurr, inset, said a lower limit such as £10 should be considered to minimise the risk of “small rogue claims”.
He added: “It is only a decade since the UK expenses scandal and (since then) poverty has increased while perception of the value we get out of our politicians is decreasing, in part, due to their inability to deliver according to the wishes of the people.”