The latest data on Holyrood politicians’ allowances suggests one of our local MSPs has a particular penchant for powdered milk.
Along with claims for travel expenses, office rent, printing and photocopying, Colin Beattie, SNP MSP for Midlothian North was reimbursed for frequent purchases of Coffee-Mate.
But Mr Beattie, a former banker, said the non-dairy coffee creamer was for his staff and constituents who came to see him, not his own consumption.
He said: “I don’t drink coffee myself. My favourite tipple is Coke Zero – but I don’t put that through the books.”
Mr Beattie’s claims included two 1kg jars of fat-free Coffee-Mate from Costco on August 28 last year, another jar bought from Tesco for £2.25 in November, then one for £2.29 from Morrisons in January.
Coffee-Mate and sugar from Asda on February 15 came to £4.13; there was another claim for £2.25 for Coffee-Mate from Tesco on March 15; three jars of Coffee-Mate were included as part of a larger purchase at Costco on March 29; then another £2.49 claim for Coffee-Mate from Tesco on April 24, and £2.99 for a jar from Costco in June.
The claims are listed under Office Cost Provision – Business Meeting Expenses.
Mr Beattie said: “The Coffee-Mate was bought variously wherever staff were passing and is mainly for constituents and visitors per parliamentary allowances.”