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Details of amounts owed by MPs and action taken to recover amounts
CAS-35005
Disclosure Date:3 Mar 2016
Categories: DEBT
Exemptions Applied: None
Request
  1. A breakdown of the amounts owed to Ipsa by MPs and former MPs as of the most recent available date, including names.
  2. Details of MPs and former MPs who have been subject to action to recover money owed, since the last disclosure you made (June 29). Could this include names, the amount of debt when the action was taken, what measures were taken (eg cancelling payment cards), and what the current level of outstanding debt is.

 

Response

IPSA holds the information that you request.

Background

There are numerous reasons why an MP may be listed as ‘owing’ an amount to IPSA. The fact that an MP is required to pay an amount to IPSA does not indicate any breach of the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’) or the associated rules. Indeed, the day to day operation of the expenses systems means that at any one point in time, amounts will be owed by IPSA to MPs, and by MPs to IPSA.

For example, claims made on payment cards require reconciling a month after the cost is incurred; purchases are made on the card by the MP and supporting documentation must then be supplied to IPSA by the end of the month. Until supporting documentation is received, the claim is marked as requiring repayment. Where supporting documentation can be provided for a claimable expense, the amount is not required to be repaid by the MP.

In addition:

  • where an MP exceeds a budget limit, that amount exceeding the limit must be repaid;
  • where an MP has paid for something on their payment card, but marked the payment as a cost which they do not intend to claim from IPSA, this amount must be repaid; and
  • where a claim has been identified through post-payment assurance checks as a cost that is ineligible under the Scheme, this amount must be repaid (and the claim will be marked as such on our publication website).

In addition to payment card reconciliation reminders, all MPs are sent financial statements each month detailing their financial position with IPSA. These statements include personalised projections of spend over the financial year. If an MP is projected to overspend, this is highlighted to the MP. These statements also contain details of amounts that IPSA believes are required to be repaid. If the MP has not contacted IPSA by the following financial statement, these amounts become owed.

Action taken to recover amounts

If these amounts are not repaid or reconciled by the end of the following week, action is initiated by IPSA to recover the amounts. This takes the form of ‘offsetting’. During this period, the MP’s payment card is temporarily suspended, and all reimbursement claims are not paid to the MP until the amount has been recovered in full.

Occasionally, once the action to initiate offsetting has been taken, MPs may voluntarily decide to set up salary deductions to repay the amounts due. Once a repayment plan has been established, use of the payment card is then reinstated.

Disclosure of the information requested

As you will understand, the information you have requested can change significantly on a regular basis, and is subject to continuous amendments as transactions and claims are reviewed, and further supporting documentation is provided. The figures attached at Annex A (below) represent a snapshot of the information held as at 23 February 2016, in order to provide figures that are as up to date as possible.

The information at Annex B (below) represents all action that has been taken to recover amounts since our last disclosure on June 30, 2015[1]. This provides the name of the MP, the date the action was taken, the amount owed when the action was taken and the amount owed as at 23 February.

 

[1] A copy of our previous disclosure on June 30 2015, reference F1415-159, can be found on our website at the following address: http://parliamentarystandards.org.uk/transparency/FOI/2014-15%20Freedom%20of%20information%20requests%20and%20responses/wF1415-159.pdf

 

Annex A - Amounts owed

MP Name

Amount due to be repaid

Angela Crawley

£2,152.68

Danny Kinahan

£267.30

David Morris

£4,919.37

Debbie Abrahams

£3,921.18

Elizabeth Anne McInnes

£1,030.80

Ian Paisley

£20,337.06

James Duddridge

£208.87

Jon Cruddas

£1,483.61

Karen Lumley

£94.63

Natalie McGarry

£2,370.30

Nick Hurd[1]

£255.88

Robert Buckland

£241.64

 

[1] This amount is currently subject to a review by the Compliance Officer for IPSA. Once concluded, details of the review will be published on the Compliance Officer’s website: http://www.parliamentarycompliance.org.uk.

Annex B - Action taken

MP Name

Date when action taken

Amount when action taken

Of this, amount still outstanding

Angela Crawley

25/01/2016

£2,152.68

£2,152.68

Angus MacNeil

15/12/2015

£950.70

Repaid in full  

Angus Robertson

15/12/2015

£1,165.26

Repaid in full  

David Morris

08/12/2015

£12,240.03

£4,919.37

Hywel Williams

03/11/2015

£2,183.11

Repaid in full  

Ian Paisley

03/11/2015

£27,766.63

£20,337.06

John Stevenson

15/12/2015

£608.90

Repaid in full  

Jon Cruddas

15/12/2015

£2,967.25

£1,483.61

Liam Byrne[1]

29/01/2016

£1,189.52

Repaid in full  

Natalie McGarry

25/01/2016

£2,720.04

£2,370.30

Owen Smith

25/01/2016

£953.42

Repaid in full  

Simon Danczuk

25/01/2016

£595.81

Repaid in full  

Stewart Hosie

15/12/2015

£3,446.95

Repaid in full  

Stuart Donaldson

03/11/2015

£33.93

Repaid in full  

 

[1] A portion of this amount is currently subject to a review by the Compliance Officer for IPSA. Once concluded, details of the review will be published on the Compliance Officer’s website: http://www.parliamentarycompliance.org.uk.