Size of MPs' accommodation

Request

Is it possible to ascertain what size of accommodation each MP has as a second home, as paid for by the tax payer, for when they are in attendance at parliament?


Response

IPSA does not hold the information that you request.

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).  Whilst the Scheme makes no specific requirement in relation to the size of the accommodation, the level of the rental accommodation budget is set based on our assessment of the cost of a one bedroom property.  Paragraph 4.8 of the Scheme gives more information on what may be claimed under Accommodation Expenditure.

We require MPs to submit supporting evidence to accompany claims for rental accommodation in the form of the original rental agreement.  As mentioned, the Scheme makes no specific requirement in relation to the size of accommodation and, therefore, we do not require the supporting evidence to contain information in relation to this.  It is possible that some rental agreements may include information relating to the size of rental accommodation, but this is by no means certain. 

We undertook a test to estimate the amount of time it would take to determine whether this information is held within rental agreements and estimate that to do so 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 FOIA) and are therefore not obliged under the FOIA to comply with your request.  We can, however, confirm that the results of the test carried out, in which we reviewed 10 per cent of active rental agreements, did not reveal any information related to your request.

Ref:
F1314-095
Disclosure:
August 14, 2013
Categories:
MPs' ACCOMMODATION
Exemptions Applied:
None