MSPs will forgo a pay rise next year to show "political leadership" in the face of the devastating economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis, it has been announced.

Holyrood's Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh said the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body decided an increase would have been "wholly inappropriate". 

MSPs are currently paid £64,470 a year. Their salary is linked to public sector pay.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has indicated MPs could see their pay increase from next April.

But a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously made clear he did not support a pay rise.

In a message to MSPs, Mr Macintosh said: "Later this month, the SPCB will present its budget bid for 2021/22 to the Finance and Constitution Committee for its scrutiny.

"As ever, it is the duty of the SPCB to make provision for the resources and services that Parliament needs to function.  

"Within its annual budget bid, the SPCB is required to make provision for the salaries of all members and ministers.

"You will no doubt recall that in the previous session of Parliament, members voted to break the pay link between MPs and MSPs salaries.  

"Instead of receiving 87.5 per cent of MPs’ salaries, we voted to link our future pay increases to those of public sectors workers in Scotland, using the ASHE [Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings] index.

"Last year, the ASHE index applied to our salaries stood at 1.4%. This year the corresponding rate is 5.1%.  

"In the midst of a public health crisis with such devastating economic consequences and hardship for so many households, the SPCB unanimously agreed yesterday, that it would be wholly inappropriate for the ASHE index to be applied to MSP and ministerial salaries next year.

"Instead, the SPCB agreed that members, ministers and presiding officers will forgo a pay rise and that our budget bid to the Finance and Constitution Committee will freeze the current salary rates for members.

"These are exceptional circumstances and no other decision would have been appropriate or welcome at this time – either inside or outwith Parliament. 

"Now more than ever is a time for political leadership where our own salaries are concerned."

Deputy First Minister John Swinney welcomed the move.

Speaking during the Scottish Government's coronavirus briefing, he said: "I think it's absolutely the right decision to have taken and I think it's correct in these circumstances.

"The pay of ministers has been frozen at 2008/09 levels, so that's been frozen for some considerable time, but I unreservedly welcome the decision that parliament's taken today."