I wish to make a Freedom of Information request regarding expenses claimed by Memebrs of Parliament for the years 2010 – 2015. Specifically, I would like to know if any MPs have claimed and/or received expenses payments for items of clothing (suits, shirts, ties etc) or cleaning of clothing (dry cleaning, laundry etc.).
Under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’), MPs have the right to be reimbursed for unavoidable costs where they are incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of their parliamentary functions, but not otherwise.
Claims such as those you mention in your request would not fall within these parameters, and would not therefore be allowed or paid under the Scheme.
All claims made by MPs are published on our dedicated publication website: http://www.parliamentary-standards.org.uk/.
Using the ‘Data ‘Downloads’ tab, you can download details of all claims made each financial year, including those that were not paid. You can use this information to search for any claims you are interested in.
In order to confirm whether or not any such claims had been made between 2010 and 2015, we would be required to manually search through all receipts submitted for relevant expense types. We undertook a test to estimate the amount of time it would take to locate, retrieve and extract this information from our systems. We estimate that it would take over 500 hours of staff time which takes us considerably over the appropriate cost limit of £450 (part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Freedom of Information Act). Consequently, we are not obliged to respond to this part of your request (see section 12(1), FOIA).