Payments made to the European Research Group
IPSA holds the information you requested
I will take each of your questions in turn.
(1) How much is paid by IPSA to the totally Conservative members European Research Group annually?
Details of all claims made by MPs are published on our website.
To view claims made by MPs for ERG subscriptions, please visit our website.
Using the drop-down menu at the top of the page, you will need to select a financial year alongside the option for ‘individual claims’, which will open a spreadsheet containing all individual claims made that financial year. You can filter on either the ‘Details’ or ‘Short Description’ columns for ‘ERG’ to identify relevant claims.
This will provide you with the names of all MPs who have made claims for subscriptions to the ERG in each financial year, alongside the total amount paid.
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).
(2) Why is taxpayers monies going to subsidise this party political group
Under the terms of the Scheme of MPs’ Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’), MPs can claim the costs of payments for pooled staffing services, which provide research, briefing and drafting services to groups of MPs in the course of their parliamentary duties.
Currently, MPs can claim for subscriptions to such services in one of two ways:
IPSA can pay subscription fees directly to the service provider; or
a reimbursement claim can be submitted to the online expenses system.
As with other types of expenditure claimed under the Scheme, a reimbursement claim must be accompanied by documentary evidence in the form of an invoice signed by the subscribing MP.
In addition to the ERG, there are also four other services registered with IPSA, namely the Parliamentary Research Service (for Labour MPs); the Policy Research Unit (for Conservative MPs); the Scottish National Party Research Team (for SNP MPs); the Parliamentary Support Team (for Liberal Democrat MPs). The ERG provides briefings to Conservative MPs on issues relating to the UK’s relationship with the European Union.
(3) Who decided to give monies and when?
Pooled services, including subscriptions to the ERG, have been claimable since the first IPSA Scheme in 2010. As stated above the Scheme allows MPs to claim for the cost of subscriptions to pooled services which support their parliamentary work. The services paid for must be parliamentary, not party political purposes.
This concludes our response to your request.
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- February 11, 2019
- GENERAL EXPENSES ENQUIRYIPSA - POLICY
- Exemptions Applied:
- Section 21