THE SNP is offering business figures the chance to lobby its senior politicians in exchange for handing over thousands of pounds in sponsorship for the party's conference.

In what has been condemned as a blatant example of cash for access by transparency campaigners, the party has drawn up an extensive price list for the Glasgow event promising a "valuable opportunity to reach many of Scotland's senior politicians" in return for money.

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The SNP is seeking up to £23,000 a time excluding VAT to sponsor an array of events, private lounges and conference paraphernalia at next month's showpiece, with even a creche up for grabs to corporate backers. Those who agree will be able to display their branding and make a speech promoting their organisation.

Also on offer is a £200-a-head dinner which will attended by Nicola Sturgeon and finance secretary Derek Mackay, who is responsible for tax policy. The dinner is targeted at "corporate organisations, professional associations and individuals" that are "looking to learn more about the SNP in a relaxed and informal setting."

The SNP has previously condemned Labour and the Tories, parties which also seek corporate sponsorship for conferences, after they became embroiled in cash for access controversies and presented itself as an alternative to the "Westminster machine".

However, the party stands to rake in over £160,000 if all of the sponsorship opportunities are taken up. The figure does not include the lucrative dinner with the First Minister or a £1,600-per-head "corporate day" which "offers the opportunity to meet SNP policy makers in a friendly relaxed atmosphere."

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David Miller, director of Spinwatch, accused the SNP of offering "straightforward cash for access". He added: "These events are sold as a means for businesses to lobby ministers for policies, laws and regulations that suit their interests. It must pay off, or we wouldn't see them paying thousands of pounds for dinner, year after year and to all political parties.

"Nicola Sturgeon may have just launched 'the biggest listening exercise in SNP history', but there's at least the possibility that she'll pay closer attention to SNP conference sponsors, from whom the party has accepted funds."

Accounts lodged by the SNP show that income from its conferences have increased drastically following a surge in membership. Next month's event will be held at the SECC, a venue more accustomed to hosting huge concerts than political gatherings.

In 2014, the party made £357,000 from conferences, although the events cost £224,000 to stage. Income the following year surged to £758,000, against increased conference expenditure of £664,000.

This year, businesses can sponsor a members lounge for £23,000, a lounge exclusively for parliamentarians for £11,500 or the conference dinner for £12,500. Sponsorships for separate receptions for the SNP's Westminster and Holyrood politicians have already been sold for £8,000 each, in addition to a £210 fee and VAT of £1,600. Lanyards can be sponsored for £15,500 while placing a corporate logo on bags handed to delegates when they arrive costs £12,500. Sponsorship of the conference creche - the cheapest opportunity of 19 advertised - costs £2,000.

Alexandra Runswick, director of campaign group Unlock Democracy, said paying for access to politicians is a well-known tactic for commercial lobbyists with the prices well out of reach to normal voters or grassroots activists.

She said: "There’s a real problem with big money in our politics, the public feels our politics is for sale – that politicians listen to donors and lobbyists but not voters. These dinners just reinforce that perception. Buying a seat at the First Minister’s table provides bankers, foreign businessmen and lobbyists with an opportunity to discuss their concerns, whether its taxes, regulation or policy. It’s a straight up case of cash for access."

Last year, the Tories came under fire for offering special access to ministers at their conference for £2,500, while the party also used dinners with powerful politicians to raise funds, charging £1,000 per head in 2013 for a seat on a senior minister's table.

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An SNP spokesman said: "There are a range of options available to individuals and organisations wishing to attend conference, to exhibit or host fringe events. We always welcome a range of external organisations and our members enjoy the contribution they make to the event."