POLITICAL lobbyists will have to declare fees of more than £2000 under radical plans for Holyrood.

A consultation by Labour's Neil Findlay for a lobbyist register would also impose "stringent" penalties on firms and charities that fail to disclose basic information on their activities.

The plan has been blasted as "unenforceable and probably unlawful" by one well-known lobbyist.

Politics on both sides of the Border have been tarnished in recent years by well-publicised lobbying scandals. Executives from "communications" business Bell Pottinger were left red-faced last year after they were caught boasting about access to senior Conservative politicians. The chairman of the firm is Tim Collins, a former Tory MP and director of communications for the Conservative Party.

In Scotland, Holyrood's early days were dogged by the "cash-for access" row involving former Labour MP John Reid's son, Kevin.

David Cameron is committed to introducing a lobbying register for Westminster, but the Scottish Government has no such policy.

This has left Findlay, a Lothians MSP, to pick up the baton at Holyrood. His plan, which he intends to put out to consultation this week, would create a register spanning in-house lobbyists, public affairs firms, voluntary groups, trade associations and campaign bodies.

According to the consultation paper, the register would apply to lobbyists who contact MSPs, ministers, civil servants and executive agencies. Lobbyists would also have to declare "relevant" information, such as the names of clients and the identities of the politicians and officials who had been approached.

The purpose of the lobbying would also have to be registered. More controversially, Findlay has backed the idea of lobbyists being compelled to reveal their fees.

His proposal suggests a "consultant lobbyist" should declare fee income that exceeds £2000 for any six-month period, while the figure for in-house advocates is £9000.

Findlay's plan is more far-reaching than the previous attempt to regulate Holyrood lobbyists. MSPs backed a register in the Parliament's first term, but for commercial lobbyists only. The scheme was kicked into touch and never resurfaced.

Stuart Crawford, who runs his own political consultancy in Edinburgh, attacked the proposal, saying: "Mr Findlay has stated, I understand, that his bill is designed to protect parliament and parliamentarians. But against what? On what evidence is his bill predicated? If there is none, which I rather suspect is the case, then it can only be based on prejudice, hearsay, and baseless rumour.

"It is an unnecessary piece of legislation, based on whim and fancy, wasting taxpayers' money and parliamentary time, unenforceable and probably unlawful in part; a classic example of parliamentary grandstanding."

However, Dave Watson of the trade union Unison backed Findlay. "We support the principle of transparency in lobbying activity, including our own," he said. "Public confidence in the political process is at an all time low and while lobbying scandals have been focused on Westminster, it is right that the Scottish Parliament should follow the highest international standards."