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Cost of Parliamentary recalls since 2010 General Election
F1415-067
Disclosure Date:2 Oct 2014
Categories: PARLIAMENTARY RECALL
Exemptions Applied: Section 21
Request

I am looking for answers to the following questions about the travel expenses claimed by Members of Parliament (MPs) when Parliament is recalled:

  1. How much money in total is being claimed by MPs for their travel expenses to return to Parliament for the recall on 26th September 2014?
  2. How much money in total was claimed by MPs for their travel expenses to return to Parliament for the previous four recalls of Parliament on 20th July 2011, 11th August 2011, 10th April 2013 and 29th August 2013?
  3. Are MPs able to claim any expenses other than travel expenses when they are recalled to Parliament?

 

Response

Taking your requests for information in turn:

  • How much money in total is being claimed by MPs for their travel expenses to return to Parliament for the recall on 26th September 2014?

IPSA does not hold this information.

Members of Parliament are permitted, under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’), to claim for expenses legitimately incurred as a result of their parliamentary duties, including those related to the recall of Parliament.

Under the Scheme, MPs are allowed a maximum of 90 days for submission of claims after a business cost or expense has been incurred. Claims relating to expenses made at the end of September 2014 may be submitted at any point up to January 2015.

IPSA does not therefore currently hold the information you request.

Once the 90 day submission period has ended, all claims for expenses are then published on our expenses website every two months, three months in arrears. Claims made in September and October 2013 will be published in January 2015. Further information on future publication dates is available on our website.

  • How much money in total was claimed by MPs for their travel expenses to return to Parliament for the previous four recalls of Parliament on 20th July 2011, 11th August 2011, 10th April 2013 and 29th August 2013?

Claims made for travel as a result of a Parliamentary recall, which fall within the conditions stipulated in the Scheme (and provided below), can be claimed as a separate expense type. Claims that are made under this expense type are separately identifiable from other claims for travel. Other costs, such as subsistence, are not separately identifiable, meaning it is not possible to distinguish whether they were incurred as a result of the recall or as a result of an MP’s normal parliamentary functions.

To find the travel claims, you will need to download all claims made each financial year, and then apply the following filters.

  1. Select ‘Data Downloads’ via the menu bar at the top of the page.
  2. Under ‘Annual archive’, select a financial year. This will open a spreadsheet containing details of all claims made that financial year.
  3. Within the spreadsheet, filter the ‘Category’ column, selecting only Travel claims.
  4. Filter the ‘Journey type’ column, selecting any journey types which relate to ‘Recall’.

In order to identify the costs for all recalls since 2010, you will need to repeat this exercise for each financial year.

The FOIA states that information that is 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).

  • Are MPs able to claim any expenses other than travel expenses when they are recalled to Parliament?

Paragraph 10.13 of the Scheme states:

IPSA will, in the event of a recall of Parliament during Recess, settle claims for any reasonable travel by an MP and his or her spouse/partner and/or dependants to Westminster or an MP’s London Area residence. This includes international travel back to the UK and may include return travel to the foreign location, where necessary. MPs will be expected to travel standard class or equivalent unless they have no alternative or there is a more cost-effective option available.