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MPs claiming travel for their children
CAS-14143
Disclosure Date:24 Apr 2015
Categories: MPs' TRAVEL
Exemptions Applied: Section 21
Request
  1. How many MPs have claimed travel allowances for their children.
  2. The names of those MPs, the amounts each has claimed.
  3. The ages of those children.
Response

IPSA holds the information that you request.

The rules regarding MPs’ business costs and expenses are contained within the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’). You can view a full copy of the Scheme on our website, at the following address: http://parliamentarystandards.org.uk/IPSAMPs/Scheme

Chapter Nine of the Scheme addresses travel expenditure. For ease, I have enclosed a copy of this chapter with this letter.

MPs deemed to have caring responsibilities are entitled to claim for travel for dependants. In order to be eligible to claim travel costs for a dependent, MPs must register their dependant(s) with IPSA.

The Scheme defines those 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
    3. iii. 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 dependants, the Scheme[2] states that:

“Where MPs have caring responsibilities under paragraph 4.24, they may claim for journeys by the dependant 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 dependant.”

Travel claims made in relation to dependants are published on our publication website, which you can access via the following link: http://www.parliamentary-standards.org.uk/. Details of claims for expenses are published in a two month cycle, three months after they have been processed and validated by IPSA. The next publication date for expense claims is Thursday 14 May 2015, covering claims processed between December 2014 and January 2015.

The following instructions may assist you in filtering the information:

  1. Select ‘Search Function’ via the menu bar at the top of the page.
  2. Under ‘Select MP(s), Constituencies, Postcode or Region’ select all MPs by clicking on the check-box.
  3. Under ‘Select a year and, optionally, month(s)’ select the financial year you would like to view.
  4. Under ‘Select category(s) of Business Cost or Expense’ select ‘Travel’.
  5. Under ‘Select type(s) of Business Cost or Expense’ select all options that relate to dependents.
  6. This information may be exported into a spreadsheet.

This will provide you with details of all claims made for dependant travel, including the name of the MP who made the claim.

The FOIA states that information that is accessible by other means is not subject to release. Therefore, as the information you request is already available on our website it is exempt from disclosure under section 21 of the FOIA (information accessible to applicant by other means).

Personal information relating to MPs’ dependants, such as their age, is exempt from disclosure under the FOIA. Section 40(2) provides that personal information about third parties is exempt information if one of the conditions set out in section 40(3) is satisfied. Under the FOI Act disclosure of this information would breach the fair processing principle (Principle 1) of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), where it would be unfair to those persons or is confidential. For further information, you may wish to visit the UK Legislation website.

[1] Following the introduction 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.