Information relating to MPs claims for accommodation expenditure

Request

  1. How many MP’s are claiming expenses for a second home?

  2. The names of each MP who is claiming expenses for a second home?

  3. The amount of money each of these MPs is claiming every month for their second home?

  4. How many months has each MP been claiming expenses for their second home?

  5. What are these expenses for against their second home? Is it mortgage payments? Redecorating? Legal fees etc?

  6. Do MP’s who claim these monies for expenses have to pay tax on these expenses?

  7. Is there a financial cap on how much an MP may claim on expenses for their second home?

  8. Are there exclusions as to what an MP may claim for on their second home?

  9. Are MPs allowed to claim expenses for their main abode? If so, what can they claim for and who has claimed and how much?

  10. If an MP loses his or her seat in parliament. Do they have to pay back the monies they have claimed as expenses for their second home?


Response

IPSA holds the information that you request.

The MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (the ‘Scheme’) sets out the rules for Accommodation Expenditure, the purpose of which is to meet overnight accommodation costs necessarily incurred for the performance of an MP’s Parliamentary functions.  Accommodation Expenditure is only payable to non-London area MPs and may only be claimed in relation to a property at one location: either in the London area, or an MP’s Constituency.  For further information relating to Accommodation Expenditure and the Scheme, you may wish to visit the Scheme section of our website.

Taking your questions together:

Questions 1, 2, 3 and 4

We publish details of MPs’ claims for Accommodation Expenditure on our website, which will allow you to view the number of MPs that have made claims for Accommodation Expenditure, their names, the figures involved and the dates those claims are made.  You may view the published information by visiting our publication website.  Details of claims for expenses are published in a two month cycle, three months in arrears. The next publication date for expense claims is Thursday 6 September 2012.

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

Questions 5, 7, 8

Chapter Four of the Scheme sets out the rules for Accommodation Expenditure.  You may view the Scheme via this link to our website.  This includes information on what may be claimed for and exclusions, mortgage interest subsidy and information on budgets.  Accommodation Expenditure does not allow for claims related to redecorating or legal fees.

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

Question 6

The Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act (ITEPA) 2003 (as amended) makes overnight accommodation expenses for MPs exempt from tax.  For more information on the ITEPA, you may wish to visit the UK Legislation website.

Question 9

The requirement of the Scheme is that claims for Accommodation Expenditure are made in relation to one location, either in the London area or the constituency.  The Scheme does not make any requirements as to whether the location claimed should, or should not, be the MP’s main abode.  As detailed previously, we publish details of MPs’ claims for Accommodation Expenditure on our website.

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

Question 10

If an MP loses his or her seat, they are not required to pay back the costs of overnight accommodation necessarily incurred at the time that they were carrying out their Parliamentary functions as an MP.

Ref:
FOI2012-A064
Disclosure:
August 30, 2012
Categories:
IPSA - FINANCIAL
Exemptions Applied:
Section 21