12 March 2014: Review of the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has today published the latest edition of the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses, following its regular review of the rules. The revised Scheme will come into effect on 1 April 2014 for the 2014-15 financial year.
The Scheme is working well and the rules are widely understood and observed. 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, only minor refinements to the Scheme have been made to ensure that the rules remain appropriate.
Throughout this review, IPSA was mindful of the need to provide value for money to the taxpayer, while conscious of its obligation to provide MPs with the support they need to carry out their parliamentary functions.
IPSA has amended the rules and guidance to help clarify the terms on which MPs engage volunteers. IPSA has also clarified the rules to state that, in the event of a recall of Parliament, MPs will be expected to travel standard class or equivalent unless there is no alternative available.
This year’s review was also an opportunity to ensure that the rules are ready for the lead-up to the General Election. IPSA has clarified the rules and guidance relating to expenditure in the lead-up to the General Election and by those MPs winding-up their affairs when they leave Parliament.
IPSA has also reviewed the budget limits to ensure these remain appropriate. The Staffing Expenditure budgets have been increased by 1% to reflect the wider public sector pay policy under which staff pay rises are limited to 1% on average.
The Accommodation Expenditure budgets for MPs who claim rental payments have been increased by 2.5% to reflect rental costs. The Office Costs Expenditure budgets have been increased by 2% to reflect inflation.
IPSA has also today laid before Parliament a new edition of the MPs’ Pension Scheme, making changes in recognition of the commencement of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act.
For more information, please contact Mark Anderson on 020 7811 6488.
Notes to the editor:
- The Sixth Edition of the Scheme for the 2014-15 financial year is available at www.theipsa.org.uk. IPSA first published the Scheme on 7 May 2010 and reviews it regularly. As with previous reviews, IPSA ran a consultation (between 20 November 2013 and 19 January 2014) seeking the views of the public, MPs and others.
- The MPs’ Pension Scheme is available on our website: www.theipsa.org.uk