New MPs' FAQs
Independent of Parliament and Government, IPSA sets and regulates MPs' salaries, pensions, business costs, and expenses. We also publish all MPs’ claims and expenses regularly on our website. Our aim is to assure the public that MPs’ use of taxpayers’ money is well regulated and that MPs are resourced appropriately to carry out their parliamentary duties.
The Scheme of MPs’ Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’) is the set of rules that ensures that MPs are reimbursed for costs incurred in the performance of their parliamentary functions. It sets out a series of fundamental principles and rules within which MPs must operate, while still allowing them appropriate discretion over making claims, where stated.
IPSA provides support to MPs by paying their claims and suppliers, administering their payroll and giving information and advice on The Scheme of MPs' Business Costs and Expenses. We also support MPs in carrying out their parliamentary functions by providing funding for a constituency office, surgeries, staff, accommodation (if their constituency is outside the London area), travel, and subsistence and a number of other essential costs.
All the costs are funded publicly and are designed to support MPs in carrying out their parliamentary functions. They are not provided for party political purposes, for any government role, or for private gain.
Once a new MP arrives at the New Members Reception Area (NMRA) after the Election, they will meet an IPSA member of staff who will collect the relevant information needed for setting up their payroll and expenses account.
A dedicated IPSA account manager will be in touch shortly after to assist MPs with the next steps they will need to take in their first few months of parliament.
It is vital that new MPs register their information with IPSA in order to receive their salary, and access to claim their business costs and expenses for the performance of their parliamentary duties.
IPSA will be using the information provided at the NMRA to populate its systems as well as create accounts for new MPs with Trainline for travel, and Banner, XMA and Commercial, the direct stationery suppliers. Additionally, IPSA will share some of a new MPs' information with the House of Commons to assist with the administration of the services they will be providing to new MPs. IPSA does this so that new MPs only have to provide their information once. IPSA will only share necessary data.
New MPs' salaries will be paid into their bank accounts at the end of each calendar month. New MPs will therefore need to provide IPSA with their P45 or HRMC starter checklist, National Insurance number, bank account details and identification (passport or driving licence) at the NMRA. New MPs will only be eligible for receiving their salary once they have taken the Oath of Allegiance in Parliament.
New MPs will meet the IPSA team at the New Members Reception Area (NMRA) when they arrive at Parliament for the first time. Their House of Commons ‘buddy’ will bring them through to the NMRA on arrival.
IPSA will give new MPs a welcome pack at the NMRA which will provide them with information and guides to help them in their first few weeks as a new MP. New MPs should ensure that they read this information thoroughly as it includes information on how IPSA will support them in the performance of their parliamentary duties.
At the NMRA, IPSA will only be collecting new MPs' personal information to create accounts for their expenses and salary. New MPs' account managers will contact them subsequently after they register at the NMRA, to provide training and to help them to get started on using the business costs and expenses system.
New MPs can view their Account Manager and Payroll Officer contact details by clicking here.
After new MPs have their initial meeting at the NMRA, their IPSA account manager will contact them to arrange a training session, where IPSA will show new MPs how to make claims using the online expenses system. IPSA will also order new MPs an IPSA payment card (a Barclaycard credit card), which they can use for expenses that they incur. IPSA also has a number of other direct payment options available. IPSA will explain these to new MPs at the NMRA and provide them with online account access shortly after.
If new MPs have immediate travel and hotel booking needs for the week following the Election, CTM (located in the House of Commons Travel Office) will be able to make arrangements for them. New MPs will be introduced to them when they visit the NMRA. If a new MP has requested a Payment card, this will be with them within 5 working days.
For office items, IPSA recommends that they use the online stationery suppliers (Banner, XMA, and Commercial Office Supplies) to ease any burden on their personal finances. IPSA will setup their account within 5 working days of registering their information at the NMRA, and send them the login details for access to each of these suppliers that IPSA makes payments to directly on behalf of MPs. New MPs can order online with the supplier and they will invoice IPSA each month. IPSA allocates the expenditure to new MPs' budgets.
IPSA provides budgets to meet the costs of setting up and running a constituency office, staff, accommodation (if eligible) travel and subsistence and a number of other essential costs. IPSA will give new MPs a copy of the Scheme. IPSA have also included a summary of the Scheme in new MPs' welcome pack and a link is available on the IPSA website (www.theipsa.org.uk). This will give new MPs an overview of what they need to know straight away. There will be further training sessions and new MPs' IPSA account managers will be able to answer any immediate questions they have. Any expenditure new MPs wish to claim must be supported by the relevant evidence, so IPSA recommends new MPs keep all their receipts.
New MPs can find the full breakdown of their budgets in the Scheme of MPs’ Business Costs and Expenses (the Scheme). Information is also available on the IPSA website and IPSA will enclose a short summary in your New MP Welcome Pack. All budgets and financial limits set out in the Scheme are for a year commencing on 1 April, and ending on 31 March of the following year. New MPs will be allocated with a pro-rated budget (10 months) for the year 2017-18.
An MP’s budget may vary depending on their constituency location, their personal needs and eligibility.
The House of Commons has a service for MPs called the Members’ HR Advice Service, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. They can answer any questions new MPs have about the employment of staff.
IPSA will pay new MPs' staff their salaries directly at the end of each month. IPSA provide guides on pay scales, job descriptions and standard contracts new MPs must use. These can be found on the ‘IPSA for MPs’ section of our website www.theipsa.org.uk. Once new MPs have interviewed and appointed their staff, IPSA will require all of the relevant IPSA forms in order to start paying them.
New MPs will need to:
- Select and print out a Job Description using the tool on the ‘IPSA for MPs’ section of the IPSA website
- Create, print and sign an IPSA contract using the contract tool on the IPSA website, ensuring that the job title is the same as the one in the job description
- Complete and sign the Employee New Starter Form with the new MPs' member of staff
- Ask the employee to provide the new MP with P45 or HMRC Starter Checklist if they do not have one
Once a new MPs has completed all of the steps above, the new MP will need to send original documentation to Payroll, IPSA, 4th Floor, 30 Milbank, London, SW1P 4DU
For new staff on permanent and fixed-term contracts, IPSA needs to receive this documentation by the 15th of the month to ensure the employee is paid at the end of the month.
For new staff on casual contracts, for whom new MPs will be submitting timesheets, IPSA need to receive the documentation by the 7th of the month.
New MPs' IPSA account managers and payroll officers will be new MPs' ‘go to’ contact for assistance on any IPSA affairs. New MPs will have a direct number for them and be able to contact them by email. New MPs can also request face to face meetings. IPSA also have a general info line, which new MPs are welcome to contact by email email@example.com or telephone 020 7811 6400.
IPSA's role is to resource MPs appropriately to carry out their parliamentary functions and support them to make eligible claims. IPSA will follow the fundamental principles in the Scheme. IPSA recognises the first few months will be a busy period for new MPs and are there to help new MPs as they set up their offices. IPSA will provide new MPs with advice and support to make claims. IPSA will communicate with new MPs via emails, phone calls and face to face meetings.
At the NMRA, IPSA will need to see new MPs' P45 or completed HMRC Starter Checklist, bank account details, National Insurance number and identification in order to register them for both their salary, and expenses claims. IPSA will not ask for any information they do not need. MPs must adhere to the principles and rules of the Scheme. This means that they can only claim for expenditure for parliamentary purposes and that they are legally responsible for all money claimed and for managing their budgets and staff. IPSA will provide advice to enable new MPs to follow the rules.