Information relating to MPs' expenses policy

Request

With all the cuts and sacrifices the ordinary public are experiencing I would like to ask for some more detail on MP’s expenses please. So this is a freedom of information request.

I am led to believe that MP’s can claim items up to the value of £100 without the need to provide a receipt. Is this true, really, in this economic climate? So my real question is this, I would like to know the following:-

  1. How many expense claims are under the value of £100 and are not accompanied by a legitimate receipt in the last 12 months?

  2. How many of this kind of expense claim can an MP make in a day?

  3. Is there a maximum amount that can be claimed per head for an MP’s meals?

  4. Is alcohol an allowable expense even if it is accompanying a meal?

  5. Are MP’s expenses liable to tax? In other words like ordinary people do perks like this incur extra tax liabilities similar to that of a company car to an ordinary non privileged person?


Response

IPSA holds some of the information that you request.

In summary, MPs are not able to claim items up to the value of £100 without the need to provide a receipt.  Under section 1.1 of the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (the ‘Scheme’), all claims submitted, regardless of their value, must be “supported by the evidence required by IPSA”.  You may wish to view the Scheme via this link to our website.  IPSA has also published a guide to MP’s Business Costs and Expenses, which provides guidance to MPs on what can be claimed and what supporting documentation is required as evidence.  This can also be found on our website.

Taking your requests in turn:

  • How many expense claims are under the value of £100 and are not accompanied by a legitimate receipt in the last 12 months?

  • How many of this kind of expense claim can an MP make in a day?

All claims submitted must be supported by evidence required by IPSA.  Claims submitted without meeting evidence requirements will not be paid. 

  • Is there a maximum amount that can be claimed per head for an MP’s meals?

  • Is alcohol an allowable expense even if it is accompanying a meal?

Alcohol is not an allowable expense.  Under section 9.29 of the Scheme, ‘MPs may claim for the cost of purchasing food and non- alcoholic drinks where they have necessarily stayed overnight neither in the London Area nor their constituency. This is limited to £25 for each night.’  Furthermore, under section 9.30, ‘MPs may claim reimbursement of the costs of an evening meal (excluding alcoholic drinks), when they are required to be at the House of Commons because the House is sitting beyond 7:30pm. This is limited to £15 for each night.’

  • Are MP’s expenses liable to tax? In other words like ordinary people do perks like this incur extra tax liabilities similar to that of a company car to an ordinary non privileged person?’

IPSA applies HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) rules for the tax treatment of business expenses to the costs and expenses which MPs incur as a result of their parliamentary functions.

IPSA has already provided information relating to this under a previous FOI request (Reference FOI2012-A109).  Therefore, IPSA has taken the view that the information you have requested is exempt under Section 21 of the FOIA (Information already accessible by other means).

Ref:
FOI2013-A149
Disclosure:
January 11, 2013
Categories:
IPSA - POLICY
Exemptions Applied:
Section 21