And finally… HMRC gaff leaves third of MSPs tax exempt

A blunder by HMRC bosses left almost a third of MSPs without status as Scottish taxpayers, it has emerged. 

Jim Harra, the deputy chief executive of HMRC, said 45 of Holyrood’s 129 members had been issued with an incorrect code for 2019-20.

He said he was “not pleased to learn that the mistake had been made”.

The HMRC executive had to face Holyrood’s public audit committee and convener Jenny Marra yesterday over the matter who told him she was one of those affected.

Mr Harra said: “We identified 45 MSPS where we had sent them an incorrect 19/20 code, which did not identify them as a Scottish taxpayer. That was because of a clerical error in the tax office that looks after the affairs of Scottish parliamentarians.”

Pressing him on the issue, Ms Marra said: “We’re not asking these questions because we’re concerned about our own tax affairs, we’re concerned about it because it is a very small group of people.

“For such a significant clerical error to happen with such a small group when there is a special process in place, that is the thing that really worries me about the confidence in the wider system.”

Mr Harra said he was “satisfied” the issue would not have applied to the general population.