Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please provide me with the following information on the use of Pay-As-You-Earn scheme for charitable donations:
- Confirmation of which of the 650 Members make use of it, and for how much by each named individual.
- Any and all more detailed information your organization possesses for the 59 Members for Scottish constituencies. This should include, for instance, the recipients.
This refers to applications made since the beginning of the 2015 Parliament.
In the case of ii., this refers in particular to Peter Grant (Glenrothes), Paul Monaghan (Caithness, Sutherland, Easter Ross), and Alex Salmond (Gordon); in no particular order.
If an MP wishes to make a donation to charity out of their salary, then that is a matter for them. There are, of course, many different ways of donating to charity, and we would not necessarily know if an MP was making donations to charity once they have received their salary.
IPSA can make arrangements for payroll giving through the Charities Aid Foundation’s Give-As-You-Earn programme. Should an MP be interested, they need to complete the Foundation’s ‘Donor Instruction Form’ form on our website www.parliamentarystandards.org.uk. This needs to be signed then posted or emailed to IPSA’s address. Any donations made under this programme will be taken from an MP’s pay before tax but after National Insurance.
Names of MPs signed up to payroll giving
Whether or not individual MPs choose to donate through the payroll giving programme is their personal information. Section 40(2) of the FOIA 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). Charity donations are typically a private matter and it is not in an individual’s reasonable expectations that details of their private charity donations, which are their personal data, will be made publicly available. As such, we are withholding the individual names of those MPs who have utilised the Give-As-You-Earn programme and the amounts they donate under section 40(2) of the FOIA.
Number of MPs signed up to payroll giving
While we cannot disclose identities of the MPs, we can confirm that at 25 MPs are currently signed up to donate through the Give-As-You-Earn programme. This figure includes MPs that signed up before the 2015 General Election, as well as those that have applied since. As there are many different ways of donating to charity, this figure does not necessarily reflect the total number of MPs who may donate to charity.
Recipients of donations
Amounts donated via this method are paid by IPSA to the Charities Aid Foundation who are responsible for allocating the amounts to individual charities. As such, IPSA does not hold the names of the recipients of the donations.