Accommodation expenditure and number of bedrooms

Request

  1. I have studied your website and the only regulation I can find regarding restrictions on the size of MPs rental accommodation is a maximum payment of £20,000 per annum. Is this correct ?

  2. Do you have data on the number of occupants and the number of bedrooms in each MP’s rental accommodation ? If yes, can I be sent anonymised figures ?

  3. Do you have any plans to reduce MPs rental accommodation payments by:

    1. 14% if they have 1 extra bedroom (e.g. 1 occupant, 2 bedrooms); and

    2. 25% if they have 2 or more extra bedrooms (e.g. 2 occupants, 4 bedrooms)

For questions 2 & 3 one bedroom should be allowed for:

  • every adult couple;

  • any other adult aged 16 or over;

  • any two children regardless of sex aged under age 10;

  • any two children of the same sex aged under 16; and

  • any other child.


Response

IPSA holds some of the information that you request.

Taking your queries in turn:

  1. I have studied your website and the only regulation I can find regarding restrictions on the size of MPs rental accommodation is a maximum payment of £20,000 per annum. Is this correct ?

Under the provisions of the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘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.  For MPs claiming for rental payments in the London Area, the annual Accommodation Expenditure budget (including all associated expenditure as set out at paragraph 4.9) is £20,000.

  1. Do you have data on the number of occupants and the number of bedrooms in each MP’s rental accommodation? If yes, can I be sent anonymised figures?

You may be aware that we publish all FOI requests made to IPSA, along with their responses, on our website.   As such, we have already answered this question in a previous request, reference FOI2013-A158.

As you will see from this response, we conducted a test which showed that to provide the information requested, we would have exceeded the statutory cost limit stipulated in the FOIA.

The FOIA states that information that is easily accessible by other means is not subject to release.  Therefore, as the information you have requested relating to the 2010/11 and 2011/12 financial years is already available on our website it is exempt from disclosure under section 21 of the FOIA (information accessible to applicant by other means).

  1. Do you have any plans to reduce MPs rental accommodation payments by:

    1. 14% if they have 1 extra bedroom (e.g. 1 occupant, 2 bedrooms); and

    2. 25% if they have 2 or more extra bedrooms (e.g. 2 occupants, 4 bedrooms)

IPSA is concluding its annual review of the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses, including accommodation expenditure, and will publish its findings later this month.

Ref:
FOI2013-A199
Disclosure:
March 7, 2013
Categories:
UNDEROCCUPANCY PENALTY
Exemptions Applied:
Cost limit