Disgraced former First Minister Henry McLeish has raked in nearly £500,000 in pension payments in return for his one year and thirteen days in office.
The ex-Central Fife MSP, who was forced to quit Bute House over mistakes over the sub-letting of his constituency office in Glenrothes, began receiving a £34,000 annual payment from the public purse when he stepped down in November 2001 despite continuing as an MSP for another year and a half.
This month will be the 174th time he has received the cash, meaning he has totalled at least £493,000, and Holyrood sources say his income will have likely been adjusted for inflation to take it past the half a million mark.
A spokesman for the Scottish Liberal Democrats said: “There are very few people who would receive a pension of this size for life after doing a job for just one year. Five hundred thousand pounds is a huge amount of money. Politics should be about people working for the public good, not personal wealth.”
Mr McLeish has picked up a series of public sector consultancy jobs since leaving mainstream politics and also receives separate pensions from his time as both an MP and MSP.
He said: “That was the rules and regulations at the time and I have no further comment to make.”
The Holyrood rules have now been altered so current First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will be treated differently.
A Scottish Parliament spokeswoman said: “The procedures for First Minister pensions were changed in 2009 and are now based on length of service.”