Below is a summary of the changes made to the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (“the Scheme”) for its Fifth Edition. The changes come into effect on 1 April 2013.
• The rental element of the budgets for MPs renting in the London Area or the constituencies remains unchanged, although the amount designated for associated expenditure has increased by £100 to reflect inflation. See Chapter 4 and Annex B of the Scheme for more information.
• The budget for MPs who own their home remains at £8,850 as an interim measure while IPSA conducts an in-depth review of the rules on MPs’ accommodation. Refer to Chapter 4.
• Provisions relating to the mortgage interest subsidy have been removed as the subsidy has ended. However, some references remain as some repayment plans for any capital gains owed by MPs run until the end of the Parliament. Refer to Chapter 4 and Annex A.
• MPs may continue to rent accommodation from another MP, provided the landlord MP is not a connected party. For transparency, IPSA will publish the names of both the tenant MP and the landlord MP in its regular publication cycle, subject to the publication scheme. See Chapter 4.
Travel and Subsistence Expenditure
• The rules have been amended to allow MPs to claim for journeys from Westminster to their constituency (or vice versa) that involve a diversion, as well as necessary journeys from anywhere in the UK to Westminster or their constituency. Refer to Chapter 9.
• The rules have been clarified to reflect provisions for staff members who routinely work from a “home office” to claim travel and subsistence in the same manner as staff who are based in Westminster. Refer to Chapter 9.
Office Costs Expenditure
• The Office Costs Expenditure budgets have been increased to £25,350 for London Area MPs and £22,750 for non-London Area MPs to reflect inflation. Refer to Chapter 6.
• The Winding-Up Expenditure budget limit has increased to £56,450 for London Area MPs and £53,350 for non-London Area MPs. Refer to Chapter 8.
• Rules have been introduced to ensure MPs make necessary arrangements to wind-up their parliamentary affairs before IPSA will pay a resettlement payment to those MPs eligible to receive one. Refer to Chapter 8.
• Activities relating to reviews of parliamentary constituency boundary changes have been added to the list of activities not considered wholly, necessarily and exclusively for parliamentary purposes. Refer to Chapter 3.
• To provide greater clarity, some non-statutory advice (including from the grey “guidance” boxes and previous IPSA communications to MPs) has been incorporated into the Scheme rules.
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