Members' allowance expenditure 2008-09 to 2010-11: explanatory notes

This page gives explanatory information for each column of the Members' allowance expenditure tables for the years 2008/09 to 2010/11.

Allowances table

NB: 2010-11. Prior to the General Election in May 2010 the allowances were administered by the House of Commons. This responsibility transferred to IPSA on 7 May 2011. Former MPs who did not return to the House after the Election were able to draw on the Winding up allowance to finalise their office and staffing accounts – this was administered by the House of Commons.

Column 1: Cost of staying away from main home

The Additional Costs Allowance (cost of staying away from main home/ACA) is paid to reimburse Members for necessary costs incurred when staying overnight away from their main home for the purpose of performing parliamentary duties.

From 1 April 2009 the name of this allowance was changed to Personal Additional Accommodation Expenditure (PAAE). Inner London Members do not receive this allowance. From 1 April 2010 this allowance did not apply to any MP with a constituency within 20 miles of the Palace of Westminster.

  • 2008/09 ACA Maximum of £24,006
  • 2009/10 PAAE Maximum of £24,222
  • 2010/11 PAAE Maximum of £24,803  (£2,446 pro-rata for the pre Election period, subject to outstanding contractual obligations)

Column 2: London Costs (2008/09)

London Supplement

Inner London Members received the London Supplement instead of the ACA. Outer London Members could choose between the ACA and the London Supplement.

London Costs Allowance (2009/10)

The London Costs Allowance replaced the London Supplement in April 2009. It may be claimed by any Member, including Members who do not represent London constituencies, providing they do not claim Personal Additional Accommodation Expenditure.

As with the London Supplement, the London Costs Allowance is payable with the monthly salary, it is subject to tax and National Insurance, and is not pensionable. From 1 April 2010 this was automatically be paid to all MPs with a constituency within 20 miles of the Palace of Westminster (the PAAE did not apply)

  • 2008/09 London Supplement: £2,916
  • 2009/10 London Costs Allowance £7,500
  • 2010/11 London Costs Allowance £7,500

Column 3: Office running costs and column 4: Staffing costs

These budgets support Members in undertaking their parliamentary and constituency work. Budget flexibilities (see below) between these allowances and between years mean that they should be considered together.

The Incidental Expenses Provision (IEP) can be used to meet the cost of: accommodation for office or surgery use; equipment and supplies for office or surgery; work commissioned or other services; and certain travel and communications.

The Staffing Allowance is paid to enable Members to employ staff. Staff salaries are paid directly to staff by the House of Commons Department of Resources. The IEP can also be used to cover certain staff related costs.

In April 2009 the IEP was renamed Administrative and Office Expenditure (AOE) and the Staffing Allowance became Staffing Expenditure.

Members are permitted to transfer funds from the IEP/AOE to the Staffing Allowance. In addition, up to 10% of their Staffing Allowance can be transferred to the IEP/AOE provided they run a constituency office.

Members are also allowed to carry forward unused funds in the IEP/AOE and Staffing Allowance from one allowance year to the next or to draw down an advance from the next year's budget. In both cases the Member's allowance limit will be increased or decreased accordingly. The carry forward/draw down facility is only permitted for specific purposes and requires prior approval by the Department of Resources.

  • 2008/09 IEP maximum of £22,193
  • 2008/09 Staffing Allowance maximum of £90,854
  • 2009/10 AOE maximum of £22,393
  • 2009/10 Staffing Expenditure maximum of £103,812
  • 2010/11 AOE maximum of £24,803 (£2,446 pro-rata for the pre Election period, subject to outstanding contractual obligations)
  • 2010/11 Staffing Expenditure maximum of £105,265 (£10,382 pro-rata for the pre Election period, subject to outstanding contractual obligations)

Column 5: Travel

Total expenditure on travel including staff and family costs (see travel table for further details)

Column 6: Staff cover and other costs

This column sets out costs incurred from central budgets, including:

  • a temporary secretarial allowance for additional help when Members' staff are absent due to sickness or maternity leave;
  • additional security costs for the office up to a maximum entitlement of £1,500;
  • exceptional needs support which provides for short term additional help to Members whose constituencies have particular problems;
  • 2008/09 and 2009/10 only, a winding-up allowance (WUA) payable to defeated or retiring Members after the date on which they cease to be Members of Parliament. This covers the reimbursement of the cost of any work necessary, including staff and office costs, to conclude their parliamentary business after the date on which they cease to be Members of Parliament.

Column 7: Communications Allowance

The Communications Allowance is used to meet expenses for:

  • Regular reports and constituency newsletters
  • Questionnaires and surveys
  • Petitions
  • Targeted communications
  • Contact cards
  • Distribution costs including direct mailing and postage
  • Websites
  • Some capital purchases

Funds can be transferred from the Incidental Expenses Provision and Staffing Allowance to the Communications Allowance. However, funds cannot be transferred from the Communications Allowance to any other parliamentary allowance.

2008/09 & 2009/10 Communications Allowance of £10,400
2010/11 Communications Allowance of £10,400 (£1,026 pro-rata for the pre Election period, subject to outstanding contractual obligations)

Column 8  (2010/11 only):  Post 2011 General Election Winding up

Allowance

Payable to defeated or retiring Members after the date on which they cease to be Members of Parliament. This covers the reimbursement of the cost of any work necessary, including staff and office costs, to conclude their parliamentary business after the date on which they cease to be Members of Parliament.

  • 2010/11 Winding up Allowance of £42,732

Stationery and associated postage