The Scottish Daily Mail’s front page lead today is so galactically despicable that it’s easy to overlook another story that it bundles in with the same “SNP BAD” attack.
While excoriating Dr Philippa Whitford for having the sheer shameless gall to help save women’s lives in her holidays, the alleged newspaper also devotes a page-high article to an attack on another Nat MP, George Kerevan, for employing his wife.
The headline, however, omits a rather key fact.
Mrs Kerevan is paid a quite modest £20,000 a year for working a 50-hour week as her husband’s Parliamentary diary manager. There are no rules at Westminster against spouses being hired in such a way.
Nevertheless, the Tory MSP Alex Johnstone – who can always be relied on by the press for an SNP BAD quote – eagerly rages that:
“Hard-working Scots would be frankly appalled to learn that their cash is going on George Kerevan keeping it in the family.”
The curious aspect of the story, though, is that George Kerevan only draws £27,000 (the average Scottish wage) out of the MP’s salary of £74,000 that he’s entitled to. And what that means is that the total amount of cash being “kept in the family” by the Kerevans is still £27,000 less than George Kerevan alone could choose to trouser, even though the taxpayer is getting two employees instead of one for the money.
Alex Johnstone’s salary as an MSP is £59,089 – or a hefty £12,000 more than the Kerevans put together. If their earnings are “appalling”, we can only assume he’s going to be demanding a large pay cut, or giving a very big chunk of his own wages to charity, any day now.