Accommodation expenditure and number of bedrooms

Request

I would like to know how many MPs claim money towards a second home, and how many of these properties are classed as 'One Bedroom.


Response

IPSA holds the information that you request.

The MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses does not provide for a ‘second home allowance’.  Under the provisions of the Scheme, non-London MPs may claim for accommodation expenditure to meet costs necessarily incurred on overnight accommodation which is required for the performance of their parliamentary functions.  This may be in relation to a property at one location, either in the London area or within their constituency (or within 20 miles of any point in the constituency).  Paragraph 4.8 of the Scheme details the costs which may be claimed under Accommodation Expenditure. 

At the time of writing, there are 325 Members of Parliament who claim for such expenditure.

Whilst the Scheme makes no specific requirement in relation to the number of bedrooms a rental property should include, the level of the rental accommodation budget is set based on our assessment of the cost of a one bedroom property. 

The evidence that we require to support claims for rental accommodation does not include information relating to the number of bedrooms a property includes.  It is possible that hardcopy leases make reference to the number of bedrooms a property includes. We undertook a test to estimate the amount of time it would take to locate, retrieve and extract this information from the hardcopy leases.  We estimate that it would take 40.6 hours of staff time which takes us over the appropriate cost limit of £450 (part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Freedom of Information Act).  Consequently, IPSA is not obliged to respond to your request (see section 12(1), FOIA).

Ref:
FOI2013-A175
Disclosure:
February 21, 2013
Categories:
UNDEROCCUPANCY PENALTYMPs' ACCOMMODATION
Exemptions Applied:
Cost limit