FROM £1.80 for a poke of chips to £33,000 to employ a party buddy for secretarial services, the year's Holyrood expenses figures gave up no scandals of duck pond proportions.

But the Scottish Parliament apologised for the fact its computer crashed and it became impossible to check further details.

As it was, the purchase by the SNP's Richard Lyle of a poke of chips provided early comic relief. The surprise was not that the former Motherwell councillor ventured up the Canongate for a late-night snack but the decision to claim it on expenses.

As in previous years the ­obvious big claimants were those representing the Northern and Western Isles and others whose travel costs to and from Edinburgh were an obvious expense. The late Margo MacDonald completed her tenure as the lowest claimant.

Of the MSPs who were in post for the whole financial year covered by the figures, the highest claim came from Chic Brodie, SNP MSP for South Scotland, at £54,297.

This included more than £32,000 on contract staff, more than £7,000 of claims for rental accommodation in Edinburgh and about £700 on website costs.

Mr Brodie was followed by Ken Macintosh, Labour MSP for Eastwood, who spent £40,590. Both Mr Brodie and Mr Macintosh faced similar questions last year and both explained their high figures in a broadly comparable way - a decision to handle office staff through a separate mechanism from the usual Holyrood approach.

Mr Macintosh hired his staff through a shared arrangement with his Westminster counterpart, Jim Murphy. Mr Brodie paid for his office staff through an outsourcing to a company in Ayr which happens to involve a local SNP councillor, Corri Wilson, whose company received more than £30,000.

This meant that Mr Brodie's outlays were much more visible than others at Holyrood, where most staff costs were not revealed for data protection reasons.

He defended his arrangements as a good deal for the taxpayer, insisting that "Chinese walls" have been set up and he has a guaranteed confidential service.

Mr Brodie claimed this meant his actual costs were lower than for most of his colleagues.

Other figures showed Liam McArthur, Liberal Democrat MSP for Orkney, claimed £40,234. Kenneth Gibson, SNP MSP for Cunninghame North, claimed £38,607 while LibDem MSP for Shetland Tavish Scott claimed £36,038.

The lowest expenses claim was from independent MSP Margo MacDonald, who spent £2,294. Ms MacDonald died in April this year, outwith the financial year covered by the latest expenses figures.