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by Margaret Taylor
06 February 2023
Nicola Sturgeon’s tax returns show her salary is her only source of income

Nicola Sturgeon’s tax returns show her salary is her only source of income

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has published her tax returns for the past seven years, highlighting that she has no income other than the salary she receives for her role as an MSP and as head of the government.

The returns, released following a commitment made by the first minister during a press conference last month, show that in each of the last two financial years Sturgeon paid just over £51,000 in income tax.

That is based on her salary entitlement of £140,496, although the SNP said that 20 per cent of that sum – £27,000 – is returned to the public purse as the first minister continues to take a salary equivalent to 2008-09 levels. She pays tax on her full entitlement, the party said.

The amount of tax that Sturgeon pays has increased over the period the tax returns relate to as her headline salary was £128,771 in 2015-16. She paid tax of just over £42,000 on that sum.

Sturgeon, who had previously released her tax return for the 2014-15 year, released the documents after being pressed to do so in a recent press conference in which she was critical of then Tory party chairman Nadhim Zahawi’s tax affairs.

Zahawi paid almost £5m in back taxes and penalties following an investigation by HMRC.

Sturgeon said: "I previously committed to being open and transparent to the people of Scotland about my own earnings. Today's publication makes good on that commitment.

"These documents show clearly that my sole source of income is my job as first minister – the office which I have the immense privilege of holding.

"I hope other party leaders - including the prime minister – will follow suit in an effort to promote transparency in public office."

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