‘Please provide details on how many of the second homes used by MPs, where the rent or mortgage interest is paid for by the taxpayer, have more than 1 bedroom. Please also provide the names of the MPs who claim for those properties, and how much is claimed each year for the rent/mortgage interest.’
The MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses does not provide for a ‘second home’. Under the provisions of the Scheme, non-London MPs may claim for accommodation expenditure to meet costs necessarily incurred on overnight accommodation which is required for the performance of their parliamentary functions. This may be in relation to a property at one location, either in the London area or within their constituency (or within 20 miles of any point in the constituency). Paragraph 4.8 of the Scheme details the costs which may be claimed under Accommodation Expenditure.
You may be aware that we publish all FOI requests made to IPSA, along with their responses, on our website. As such, we have already answered this question in a previous request, reference FOI2013-A158. You can view our response to this request on IPSA’s website, by following this link to the Freedom of Information section.
As you will see from this response, we conducted a test which showed that to provide the information requested, we would have exceeded the statutory cost limit stipulated in the FOIA.
The FOIA states that information that is easily accessible by other means is not subject to release. Therefore, as the information you have requested is already available on our website it is exempt from disclosure under section 21 of the FOIA (information accessible to applicant by other means).