MSPs should declare their shareholdings

John Pentland
John Pentland

Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Pentland has called for a tightening of Scottish Parliament rules on MSPs declaring their shareholdings.

MSPs are allowed to hold shares in a company up to half the value of their salary, without the need to put them on the register of interests, but there is no limit to the number of companies they can hold shares in.

Mr Pentland said: “I know few, if any, of my constituents would regard having £28,000 in company shares as an insignificant financial interest - although that is below our threshold, and there could be several such holdings without any needing to be registered.

“I don’t yet have a figure in mind, but feel it is currently too high; and there is also a problem in that people could have several related holdings that amounted to far more than the threshold without having to declare them on the register of interests.

“Nothing has been decided yet, there will be opportunity to debate the principles when a bill on the matter is submitted to Parliament, and after that to submit amendments regarding the threshold and the rules on multiple holdings.”