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Newly elected Highland MSP says elected representatives are 'presumed to have money'

By Louise Glen

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Scottish Parliamentary Elections 2021..Emma Roddick, Scottish National Party (SNP)..Picture: James Mackenzie..
Scottish Parliamentary Elections 2021..Emma Roddick, Scottish National Party (SNP)..Picture: James Mackenzie..

A newly elected MSP has taken to social media to raise concerns about the expectation that she will have money to fund her new life.

Emma Roddick, Highlands and Islands, said that while she had a month to wait for her salary, she, like many other working class people would struggle to make ends meet - and the assumption that MSPs were coming from money had to be challenged.

Five people offered to loan the new MSP cash, and one man even considered setting up a crowdfunder after she raised concerns on social media.

Ms Roddick, who was elected to the regional list for the SNP as a Highlands and Islands representative to the Scottish Parliament, tweeted: "Probably a point to be made about new MSPs being expected to live, travel, dress, spend money like an MSP for a month before they receive a salary...

"Hello, unplanned overdraft...

"Will be asking in induction tomorrow if advances are an option."

Ms Roddick has been asked to go to Edinburgh for an induction, starting today. She will take the oath in parliament this Thursday.

She continued: "[There is a] wider point about ability to take time off/travel to campaign etc. is also something I struggled with, but there's generally more support available for that. Nobody wants to give elected representatives more money!

"I've had five offers of loans off the back of this and it really wasn't what I was getting at but thank you all.

After receiving a backlash about her comments, she said: "Totally understand where you're coming from, I'm not going to be in this position in a month and am not a sympathetic character!

"But if this prevents working-class people from standing for parliament and therefore being a part of our legislature, it's an issue worth considering."

She added: "It is a concern that people who are very able to jump into the role of an MSP without money worries are less likely to have personally experienced.

"Meaning we don't get legislators who understand."

She asked: "So, is it not better to challenge assumptions?"

READ: OPINION: Inverness Central councillor Emma Roddick argues that harmful stereotypes on mental health still exist – and must be tackled

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