MPs’ Annual Business Costs for 2020-21

Date published: 20 January 2022

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority today published figures for business costs incurred by MPs for their parliamentary duties in the 2020-21 financial year.

Business costs are the essential costs incurred by MPs while carrying out their parliamentary duties including staffing, office costs and travel. MPs cannot claim for personal costs, such as food and drink, during their normal working day. All claims must be compliant with our rules and accompanied by evidence.

The vast majority – over 76% – of MPs’ business costs are for staff members to help them support their constituents. On average, MPs employ five members of staff to respond to requests from local people, resolve issues and help to represent their needs in Parliament.

This year’s data also includes the additional funding provided to MPs to enable them and their staff to support constituents during the pandemic. MPs and their staff reported a huge increase in the volume and complexity of casework over the past two years and the covid budgets enabled them to provide support during this difficult time.

Further details on how to review annual publication data .

IPSA’s Chair, Richard Lloyd, said:

“As the independent regulator that oversees spending by MPs, we can confirm today that compliance with our rules remained very high during the Covid pandemic.

“By far the largest area of spending is to pay for the salaries of MPs’ staff. These are people who work long hours to help constituents, often dealing with very difficult issues. In the last financial year MPs and their staff changed how they work to provide their constituents with a service during the pandemic. This is reflected in some of the spending details we have published today.

“We enabled MPs’ staff to work from home, while the amount spent on parliamentary business travel fell to reflect different working patterns. Overall spending on staffing was higher as the budget was increased to better support constituents when casework increased to record levels.

“Security spending has also increased in the last year, and could increase further this year following the tragic murder of an MP in October 2021. Keeping MPs, their families, and their staff safe is absolutely vital for our democracy.”

Spending on all budgets was just under £138 million, nearly 90% of which was for staffing and office costs. Compliance with the rules for MPs’ business costs was at 99.7%.

Annual MP spend labels

This overall sum included:

  • Staffing – £105.8m up from £90.2m in 2019-20

  • Office Costs – £15.2m up from £13m in 2019-20

  • Accommodation – £9.3m, up from £8.9m in 2019-20

  • Travel & Subsistence – £2.1m, down from £5.6m in 2019-20

  • Security – £4.4m, up from £3.4m in 2019-20

  • Other (including staff absences) £1m

  • Disability – £176k, up from £141k in 2019-20


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Notes to Editors:

  1. Figures used in the press release above are actual and have not been adjusted. They may be subject to minor revisions.

  2. Spending on MPs’ Security and Disability Assistance are not attributed to individual MPs.

  3. Travel includes travel by MPs, their staff and their dependants.

  4. This year, based on feedback, we have changed the way we publish a small number of items. Instead of publishing individual reward and recognition payments, the data instead provides a total amount paid by each MP during 2020-21. Additionally, information about staff absence costs for each MP now appears under ‘Other Payment Data’, along with other types of costs that are funded centrally.

  5. The next publication of MPs’ business costs will be in the new financial year, following the review of what is published announced in October 2021.