Since 2010, in how many of the cases in which MPs have overspent their budgets (in both staffing and accommodation) have the outstanding amounts been repaid with 30 days? (in accordance with section 2.12 of the code)
Please send the list and dates for all the above MPs this concerns.
In the cases which were not repaid in 30 days, in how many cases did Ipsa take action - and if so, what was it?
IPSA holds the information that you request.
Under the Scheme of MPs’ Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’), MPs are provided with various budgets to support them in the exercise of their parliamentary functions. MPs who overspend their budget are required to repay this amount to IPSA.
Since 2017-18, the Scheme has stated that if repayments are not made within 30 days of the MP being notified, they will be either: (1) deducted from further payments of claims to which the MP is entitled (‘offsetting’), or (2) at the MP’s request, deducted from their salaries under a repayment plan agreed with IPSA. If any amounts to be deducted from claims have not been recovered within 30 days of MPs being put into offsetting, the remaining amounts may be deducted from MPs’ salaries without their agreement. This is an automatic process – if a repayment arrangement is not agreed with IPSA within 30 days of the MP being notified, they will automatically be put into offsetting.
Prior to 2017-18, previous editions of the Scheme, which can be found on our website, noted that if repayments were not made within one month of the MP being notified, amounts may be deducted from the MP’s salary or otherwise recovered.
Details of all repayments, including those for budget overspends, are published on our website following the end of the financial year.
We do not hold a historical log (back to 2010) which details the specific dates on which MPs were notified of debts and repaid them. As such, determining which MPs repaid or didn’t repay amounts within 30 days would require locating each piece of individual correspondence and comparing this with finance records of repayments made. We estimate the time it would take to locate, retrieve and extract this information from our systems would exceed the appropriate cost limit of £450 (part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Freedom of Information Act). Consequently, IPSA is not able to respond to your request (see section 12(1), FOIA).