13 March 2013: Review of the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) today published the Fifth Edition of the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (“the Scheme”), which will come into effect on 1 April 2013.
Established in 2009, IPSA has a duty to establish and administer a scheme of business costs and expenses for MPs. IPSA reviews the Scheme regularly to ensure that the rules and budgets remain fair and workable and that the system is transparent. As with previous reviews, IPSA sought the views of the public, MPs and other interested parties about any possible amendments. Taking account of the responses received, as well as the evidence gathered, IPSA considers that the Scheme is working well and that only minor adjustments were necessary. The aim of these adjustments is to ensure that public funds are properly spent and accounted for and that MPs have the support they need to perform their parliamentary functions.
This year’s review focussed particularly on the budget available for those MPs who claim for residential rental payments in London. IPSA sought independent advice about the current London rental market and, based on all the evidence, decided it would not be right to increase the rental portion of the Accommodation Expenditure budget. However, the amount designated for associated expenditure has been increased by £100 to reflect inflation. The budget for associated expenditure for MPs who live in their own home remains the same. For the sake of transparency, IPSA will publish the names of the tenant and landlord where MPs rent from other MPs.
The Office Costs Expenditure budgets will be increased by around 2.4% to reflect inflation. IPSA has also introduced administrative obligations to ensure that MPs wind-up their affairs before they can receive any resettlement payment they may be entitled to, and made some minor adjustments to the types of journeys MPs may claim for.
For more information, please contact IPSA's Press Office.
Notes to the editor:
• IPSA is publishing the Fifth Edition of the Scheme and it is available at www.parliamentarystandards.org.uk. IPSA first published the Scheme on 7 May 2010, following the General Election, and has reviewed it regularly since.
• As with previous reviews of the Scheme, IPSA ran a consultation between 19 November 2012 and 18 January 2013 seeking the views of the public, MPs and other interested parties.
• IPSA is conducting a comprehensive, in-depth review of the rules and budgets for MPs’ accommodation later this year and will consult interested parties again at that time.