Skip to the content

Dependents removed from register
F1314-055
Disclosure Date:12 Jul 2013
Categories: GENERAL EXPENSES ENQUIRY
Exemptions Applied: None
Request

In relation to IPSA’s published response (reference F1314-023) to a previous FOI request asking for the number of dependents MPs have registered with IPSA by financial year, you asked IPSA to “check to see if any of the dependants registered for that set are no longer eligible”.

Response

IPSA holds the information that you request.

 

As detailed in our response to FOI request reference F1314-023, the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’) provides that MPs deemed to have caring responsibilities are entitled to claim for travel for dependents and, if claiming rental accommodation under the Scheme, may have their accommodation budget limit increased to meet any additional costs that may be associated with dependents routinely resident at the property.  In order to be eligible to claim travel costs for a dependent or to have their accommodation budget limit increased, MPs must register their dependent(s) with IPSA.

 

The Scheme defines those deemed to have caring responsibilities:

“4.24 For the purposes of this Scheme, MPs will be deemed to have caring responsibilities where they:

  1. have parental responsibility for a dependent child of up to the age of 16, or up to the age of 18 if in full-time education; or
  2. are the sole carer for a dependent child in full-time education, of up to the age of 21 years; or
  3. are the primary carer for a family member in receipt of one of the following benefits:
    1. Attendance Allowance;
    2. Disability Living Allowance[1] at the middle or highest rate for personal care; or
  • Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, or basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension.

 

In relation to travel claims for dependents, the Scheme[2] states:

“9.22 Where MPs have caring responsibilities under paragraph 4.24, they may claim for journeys by the dependent in question. Such claims are limited to 30 single journeys between the MP's London Area residence and the constituency residence in each year for each dependent.”

 

With regard to accommodation expenses for dependents, the Scheme2 states:

“4.22 An MP who is eligible to claim Accommodation Expenditure for rental costs may have their budget limit increased by up to £2,425 in any financial year for any additional expenditure that may be required, for each person for whom that MP has caring responsibilities  (known hereafter as the “dependent”), provided that they can certify that the dependent routinely resides at the rented accommodation.”

 

The names of those MPs who had registered dependents with IPSA and the number of dependents registered for each financial year was released, as you know, under FOI request reference F1314-023.  That an MP has registered a dependent does not indicate that a claim has been made for travel expenditure.  By the same token, that an MP has received an uplift to their accommodation budget in relation to a dependent registration does not indicate that the uplifted budget has been utilised.

 

We have carried out a check, as requested, and have identified a small number of cases where dependents registered with IPSA may no longer by eligible, as defined by section 4.24 of the Scheme, and we are in the process of contacting MPs to confirm.  We can therefore confirm that the data set may require updating.  We will provide an updated data set once we have further finalised information.

 

 

[1] Following the introduction later this year of Personal Independence Payments for those 16 and over, MPs will be deemed to have caring responsibilities if they are the primary carer for a family member in receipt of the daily living component of personal independence payment.

[2] These rules have been in place in all editions of the Scheme.  The references here are to the current, fifth, edition.