Breakdown of what MPs can claim

Request

You requested further information on the rules regulating MPs’ business costs and expenses, alongside the arrangements in place for MPs’ pay and pensions.


Response

IPSA holds some of the information that you request.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) is the body created by Parliament under the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 to independently oversee and regulate MPs’ expenses.  IPSA has two main roles: regulating the business costs and expenses system and administering and paying MPs’ expenses, pay and pensions.

The rules regulating MPs’ expenses are established in the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (the ‘Scheme’). Members of Parliament are permitted, under the Scheme, to claim for expenses legitimately incurred whilst carrying out their parliamentary duties. 

Please find attached a copy of the latest Scheme, the fifth edition, which we hope provides you with all the information you are seeking.  Previous editions of the Scheme are available online on our website.

Turning to your specific point about “free meals within Westminster”, IPSA does not hold any information relating to meals available in the Palace of Westminster.  Further, in response to your enquiry about “travel allowances”, Chapter 9 of the Scheme deals with travel and subsistence expenditure incurred by MPs.

You may be interested to know that, as part of our functions, IPSA publishes all claims by MPs for business costs and expenses on our website every two months, three months in arrears.  You may view the published information via our publication website.

The next publication date is 14 November 2013, which covers those claims processed by IPSA during June and July 2013.  Claims subsequently processed by IPSA will follow in future publications.

With regards to your question on pay and pensions, the basic salary of a backbench MP is currently £66,396 per year.  Like most public service pensions, the current MPs’ scheme provides a pension based on final salary. However, unlike the majority of those schemes, it is a funded scheme, which means that the pensions are paid from a fund containing the invested contributions of the taxpayer and of MPs. The scheme provides a defined pension for life, once an MP reaches the age of 65, or older if they have not yet left the House of Commons.

You may be aware that IPSA is currently carrying out a public consultation on proposed changes to MPs’ pay and pensions, which runs until 20 October 2013.  Please also find attached a copy of the report containing the recommendations for consultation.

Ref:
F1314-140
Disclosure:
October 14, 2013
Categories:
IPSA - POLICY
Exemptions Applied:
None