Information on mortgage interest subsidies

Request

Annex A to the Business Costs & Expenses Scheme set out how returning MPs in 2010 could continue to claim a mortgage interest subsidy on a property between the time of the 2010 General Election and 31st August 2012.

I would be grateful if you could advise me of:

  1. The MPs which claimed a mortgage interest subsidy under these arrangements during the transitional period (or part thereof).

  2. For each of these claims, for each MP, please can the following information be supplied:

    1. The total amount of mortgage interest subsidy received (in terms of total payment made from the public purse) throughout this transitional period.

    2. The value of the property in both the first and second valuation, and on what dates the valuations took place.

    3. The publicly subsidised share of the property, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 8 of Annex A.

    4. The adjusted loan-to-value ratio for the property after the second valuation was carried out, in accordance with paragraph 11 of Annex A.

    5. The public share of any notional gain in the value of the property, in accordance with paragraph 13 of Annex A.

  3. Whether each of these MPs have now fully repaid this public share (as per the answers to 2(e) above, as required. If not, which MPs have this outstanding and to what amount?

  4. Whether any MPs sought advice about applying for the mortgage interest subsidy, but chose not to apply - and if so, which MPs?

  5. Whether any MPs applied for the mortgage interest subsidy, but were turned down - and if so, which MPs?


Response

IPSA holds some of the information that you request.

As you will be aware, IPSA abolished the mortgage interest subsidy, previously available to MPs, when introducing the new Scheme for MPs’ Business Costs and Expenses in 2010.

The new Scheme contained transitional arrangements for returning MPs, including a process to recoup for the taxpayer an appropriate level of any capital gain made.  These arrangements, which expired in August 2012 include information on how capital gain was calculated. 

With regards to your first and second requests, details on claims for mortgage interest subsidy are published on our website.  This includes information on the repayment of any capital gain, including the names of Members who took part in the arrangements, the amount claimed and the amounts due to be repaid to IPSA.

The FOIA states that information that is accessible by other means is not subject to release. Therefore, as the information you have requested is already available on our website, it is exempt from disclosure under section 21 of the FOIA (information accessible to applicant by other means).

In IPSA's view, specific valuations and further information on the ‘publicly subsidised share’ of properties for which Members of Parliament claimed a mortgage interest subsidy is personal data.  The release of this information would reveal the total value of MPs’ private residences, including the share of the property not publicly subsidised, and is therefore exempt under section 40 (personal information) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Section 40(2) provides that personal data about third parties is exempt information if one of the conditions set out in section 40(3) is satisfied. Under the FOI Act disclosure of this information would breach the fair processing principle (Principle 1) of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), where it would be unfair to those persons or is confidential. For further information, you may wish to visit the UK Legislation website.

Turning to your remaining requests;

  1. Whether each of these MPs have now fully repaid this public share (as per the answers to 2(e) above, as required. If not, which MPs have this outstanding and to what amount?

The information published on our website lists the amounts that have already been repaid to IPSA by each MP, alongside the amounts that are still outstanding, the end date of any repayment plans which have been agreed and the names of those MPs who have not yet agreed a repayment plan

Information relating to how much has been repaid and how much is still owed is updated on an annualised basis, and will next be updated on 11 September 2014.

  1. Whether any MPs sought advice about applying for the mortgage interest subsidy, but chose not to apply - and if so, which MPs?

  2. Whether any MPs applied for the mortgage interest subsidy, but were turned down - and if so, which MPs?

As part of its functions, IPSA provides guidance to MPs on the Scheme.  We do not hold a specific log of Members who contacted us in relation to the subsidy but subsequently chose not to apply.

IPSA does not therefore hold the information that you request. 

As you will note, Annex A to the Scheme states that:

Returning MPs who received a mortgage interest subsidy on their property in the previous parliament may continue to claim such a subsidy on the same property, up to the budget set out in the Scheme, during a transitional period ending 31 August 2012

No one who previously received a mortgage interest subsidy and subsequently chose to continue to claim under the transitional arrangements was turned down.

Ref:
F1314-155
Disclosure:
November 22, 2013
Categories:
MORTGAGE INTEREST
Exemptions Applied:
Section 21