NICOLA Sturgeon has agreed to release years of backdated tax returns covering more than £800,000 of income.

The First Minister made the commitment while appearing on the Edinburgh Fringe.

Talking to LBC broadcaster Iain Dale at the Pleasance EICC, Ms Sturgeon was reminded she pledged to publish her tax return every year as First Minister.

However she only published one return covering just her first few months in Bute House. 

Asked why she didn’t stick to her plan, Ms Sturgeon said: “I'm happy to do it. There's nothing in my tax return that will cause anybody any angst.”

Asked again why she didn’t do what she said she would, the First Minister said: “Maybe I just have had other things that I’ve been working with. “I am more than happy to publish tax returns. There is nothing… I do this job and that’s it basically.”

Ms Sturgeon was one of many senior politicians to publish their tax returns in April 2016 after then Tory Prime Minister David Cameron was embroiled in a row over tax avoidance.

It followed the so-called Panama Papers scandal, when millions of files dating back to the 1970s were leaked from the Panamanian legal and financial firm Mossack Fonseca.

They included details of an offshore fund set up by Mr Cameron’s father in 1982.

After a public outcry, Mr Cameron issued a summary of his own tax affairs in an attempt to defuse criticism.

With the scandal erupting during a Holyrood election campaign, Scotland’s then political leaders did the same.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon publishes her latest tax return in response to Panama Papers row

Labour’s Kezia Dugdale published her tax return first, then Tory Ruth Davidson, Ms Sturgeon and Liberal Democrat Willie Rennie.

Ms Sturgeon’s return for 2014/15 showed that, minus pension contributions, she was paid a salary of £104,817, and paid £31,551 in income tax.

The April-to-April tax year straddled Ms Sturgeon’s time as deputy FM and First Minister, as she took over from Alex Salmond in November 2014.

The SNP announced she was “committed to publishing her tax return annually, when it is submitted, for as long as she is First Minister”. 

Scottish ministers have taken a voluntary pay freeze since April 2009 which means the First Minister’s effective salary is around £135,000, although she also gets around £40,000 a year in pension benefits.

Her husband Peter Murrell is paid around £80,000 a year as chief executive of the SNP. 

As her last published tax return was for 2014/15, she has six years yet to disclose in line with her commitment, or seven if 2021/22 has already been filed.


The missing years from 2015/16 to 2020/21 cover income of more than £810,000.

If the 2014/15 and 2021/22 years are added, the run would cover more than £1m.

The SNP also published deputy First Minister John Swinney’s return for 2014/15 in 2016, although it made no commitment that he would publish his returns annually.

A spokesperson for Ms Sturgeon said: “As the First Minister clearly stated earlier this week, she is happy to publish her tax returns and will do so in due course - but will the two UK Tory Prime Minister candidates do likewise?”