Explanatory notes 1 July to 30 September 2010

These notes apply to the Members’ Reimbursement Scheme which was in force until 30 September 2010. A new scheme of financial support for Members came in to effect from 1 October 2010. The new scheme makes significant changes to the financial support for Members.

  1. Members of the House of Lords (except those in receipt of a salary as a Minister or Office Holder), were entitled to recover travel, subsistence and office costs incurred in connection with their Parliamentary duties.


  2. Ministers and Office Holders were able to recover Secretarial Expenses incurred in respect of their Parliamentary duties. In addition, the Lord Speaker, the Chairman of Committees, the Principal Deputy Chairman of Committees, the Leader of the Opposition and Opposition Chief Whip could be reimbursed travelling expenses from home to the House of Lords. The Lord Speaker, Chairman and Deputy Chairman of Committees were also eligible for an allowance paid by the House with salary for the costs of maintaining a second home in London for the purposes of attending the House. Ministers who were unpaid were entitled to reclaim their expenses under paragraph 1.


  3. During July – September 2010 the House of Lords sat for 17 days.

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Expenses payable to Members within paragraph 1 above were linked to attendance at:

  • sittings of the House (excluding the State Opening of Parliament)
  • meetings of committees and sub-committees of the House
    meetings as a member of the Board of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST)
  • meetings as a member of the Parliamentary Broadcasting Unit Limited (PARBUL)

Costs incurred in respect of an attendance at any other meeting, whether held at Westminster or not, could only be recovered if related to mandated Parliamentary business. In most cases these costs were met directly by the House but where Members reclaimed their expenses they are included in the tables.

Expenses relating to travel, subsistence, office costs and the Accommodation Maintenance Allowance could be reimbursed in respect of certain mandated Parliamentary business away from Westminster are included in the table. The ‘Number of Days Attended’ (column 2a), however, relate only to attendance at sittings and meetings falling within the four criteria listed above. The number of days for which expenses were claimed in respect of mandated Parliamentary business away from Westminster is listed in column 2b. These days should be taken into account when assessing Members’ claims for reimbursement of expenses.

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All figures shown relate to expenses incurred during the period 1st July to 30 September 2010, the second quarter of the 2010-11 financial year on which the House's annual accounts are based.

Ministers’ and Officeholders’ Secretarial Expenses, and other Members’ office costs incurred on days when the House is not sitting, are subject to an annual maximum based on the year from 1 August to 31 July. Patterns of expenditure over the financial year may not align with those based on an August to July year. This can result in total claims over the financial year exceeding the annual maximum, for example if a Member makes a single claim for the maximum amount in April and the following March.

Annual increases were linked to the retail prices index. The rates were not increased in the 2009/10 financial year or the first quarter of 2010/11, but increased on 1 August 2010.

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This column shows the location of the Member's main residence, by county or equivalent region. Entries in this column are voluntary.

The ‘Number of Days Attended’ reflects the official record of those days when a Member attended a sitting of the House at which public business took place, or at a select committee of the House meeting at Westminster. Days on which a Member worked on Parliamentary business without attending a public sitting of the House or a committee at Westminster are not included in the total, nor are days on which a Member travelled on Parliamentary business away from Westminster.

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The ‘Number of Days Away from Westminster’ reflects those days individual Members participated in mandated Parliamentary business away from Westminster, which qualified for reimbursement under the heading of office costs or overnight subsistence, and for which they made a claim.


Members whose main residence was outside Greater London could claim for expenses of overnight accommodation in London while away from their only or main residence. A Member whose main residence was outside Greater London and who maintained a residence in London for the purpose of attending sittings of the House could claim this allowance towards the cost of maintaining such a residence.

Maximum amounts payable for each day of attendance was £174.00 (£182.50 from 1 August 2010).

Maintenance Allowance for a second home:

Members were able to claim expenses under this heading whilst away from London, on select committee, parliamentary delegation or certain other official visits, if they maintained a second residence in London for the purposes of attending sittings of the House. Expenses claimed under this heading are included in the ‘Overnight Subsistence’ column.

Maximum amounts payable for each day away from London was £116.00 (£121.50 from 1 August 2010).

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This allowance was intended to cover such items as the cost of meals and incidental travel not separately recoverable.

Maximum amount payable for each day of attendance was £86.50 (£90.50 from 1 August 2010).

Members could recover certain office costs including the cost of secretarial help, research assistance and where appropriate the cost of providing necessary equipment, together with the cost of certain additional expenses (e.g. domestic costs, purchase of books, periodicals, and professional subscription charges that arose out of parliamentary duties).

Maximum amount payable for each day of attendance was £75.00 (£78.50 from 1 August 2010).

In addition:

  1. Office costs incurred on days when the House was not sitting or a Member did not attend could be claimed up to an additional 40 days per year (1 August - 31 July).


  2. Members were able to claim expenses incurred under this heading whilst away from the House on select committee, parliamentary delegation or certain other official visits.

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Members could recover the costs of fares incurred in travelling between their main residence and Westminster for the purpose of attending a sitting of the House, or (subject to the limits set out below) the costs of travel by private car, motorcycle or bicycle.

Motor Mileage allowance

40p per mile up to 10,000 miles in the year ending 31st March
25p per mile for mileage in excess of 10,000 miles in the same year

Motorcycle Allowance

24p per mile

Bicycle allowance

20p per mile

Expenses incurred in travelling between a Member's main residence and Westminster for the purpose of attending sittings of the House.

In addition to the normal travel arrangements, the cost of journeys made on Parliamentary business elsewhere within the United Kingdom could also be recovered.

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Members were able to recover the costs of two return journeys (including subsistence) per year, travelling on Parliamentary duties, between the United Kingdom and any:

  • National Parliament of a European Union member state or candidate country;
  • National Parliament of a Council of Europe member state;
  • European Union institution or agency;
  • National Parliament of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA)

Members were also able to recover the costs of two return journeys per year between Westminster or their main residence and the Scottish Parliament or the Devolved Assemblies of Northern Ireland and Wales.

The total travel costs for the above are listed in columns 6a to 6c. These have been further analysed by mode of transport in the adjacent columns. As ferry and coach costs are minimal, they have been included under rail costs. 

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Prepaid envelopes and postcards are available for use by Members for correspondence on House of Lords business. The costs shown include the postage and envelope costs.

Ministers and other paid Office Holders are able to recover expenses for secretarial assistance certified as incurred by them in the performance of their Parliamentary duties.

The maximum amount payable between 1 August 2009 – 31 July 2010 was £5,658. The maximum payable between 1 August 2010 – 31 July 2011 will be £5,930.

Members are entitled to the loan of up to two PCs (one desktop and one laptop or two laptops) and a printer for use on Parliamentary business. IT equipment is normally replaced every three years. The costs of a broadband installation and line rental may also paid by the House.

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Members are entitled to the loan of a personal digital assistant device (PDA) for use on Parliamentary business. Line rental, data usage on official Parliamentary business within the UK, and up to £10 per month of voice and additional overseas data costs are borne by the House.

Declaration of Principal Residence

On 22 March 2010 the House agreed to the House Committee's Third Report: Financial Support for Members of the House: Declaration of Principal Residence and Publication. With effect from the new Parliament (18 May 2010) all Members seeking to claim financial assistance with overnight accommodation within London were required to sign a declaration stating the location of their principal residence, and giving confirmation that it was outside Greater London. Supporting documentation had to be provided.

Links to House of Commons Members' Allowances and further related links are available on the main Members' Allowances for both Houses page.

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Related links

Register of Lords' Interests

The Code of Conduct requires Members of the Lords to register financial interests that might reasonably be thought to influence their parliamentary actions.

Lords’ Conduct (Sub-Committee)

The Sub-Committee on Lords' Conduct undertakes detailed consideration of matters relating to the Code of Conduct.