MSPs will forgo a pay rise next year, it has been confirmed.

In an official message to all politicians, presiding officer Ken Macintosh said it is time for "political leadership" on MSPs' pay due to the devastating economic consequences of the Covid crisis.

The move comes after the ruling Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB), which Macintosh chairs, agreed unanimously that no uplift will be presented in the SPCB’s budget bid for next year for either ministers or members.

He told the MSPs: "In the previous session of Parliament, Members voted to break the pay link between MPs and MSPs salaries. Instead of receiving 87.5% of MPs’ salaries, we voted to link our future pay increases to those of public sectors workers in Scotland, using the ASHE index.

"Last year, the ASHE index applied to our salaries stood at 1.4%.  This year the corresponding rate is 5.1%.  

"In the midst of a public health crisis with such devastating economic consequences and hardship for so many households, the SPCB unanimously agreed yesterday, that it would be wholly inappropriate for the ASHE index to be applied to MSP and ministerial salaries next year.

"Instead, the SPCB agreed that members, ministers and presiding officers will forgo a pay rise and that our budget bid to the Finance and Constitution Committee will freeze the current salary rates for members."

The Labour MSP went on: "These are exceptional circumstances and no other decision would have been appropriate or welcome at this time – either inside or outwith parliament.

"Now more than ever is a time for political leadership where our own salaries are concerned."