Monday 9 February 2004 at 5.00pm in Speaker's House
The Speaker, in the Chair
Sir Patrick Cormack
Mr Peter Hain
Mr Oliver Heald
Sir Archy Kirkwood
1. OPERATION OF THE COMMITTEE
The Committee approved proposed methods of operation; and agreed that the Leader of the House should answer Parliamentary Questions relating to its activities and act as its spokesman when required.
2. MINISTERS' AND OFFICE-HOLDERS' MAIN HOMES
The Committee agreed
- that Ministers and paid office-holders (the Speaker, the Chairman of Ways and Means and Deputies, the Government Chief Whip, Deputy and assistants, the Opposition Chief Whip, Deputy and assistant, and the Leader of the Opposition) should be permitted to designate a main home in the constituency, provided that this accorded with the facts, allowing them to claim Additional Costs Allowance for expenses necessarily incurred in staying overnight in London; and that the Resolution of 20 December 1971 should accordingly be amended as set out in the attached Resolution A;
- that those affected should be informed personally; and
- that the Advisory Panel should be asked to consider any transitional arrangements that might be necessary.
3. DEADLINE FOR CLAIMS AND END-YEAR FLEXIBLILITY
The Committee agreed
- that the period for submitting travel or allowances claims should be shortened from six months to two months after the end of an allowances year; and that the Resolution of 20 December 1971 should accordingly be amended as set out in the attached Resolution B;
- and that, on the basis of specific plans, Members should be permitted to carry forward to the following financial year, or to anticipate from the following financial year, up to 10% of Staffing Allowance and up to 10% of Incidental Expenses Provision; and that the Resolution of 5 July 2001 should accordingly be amended as set out in the attached Resolution C.
4. ADDITIONAL DESTINATIONS UNDER THE EUROPEAN TRAVEL SCHEME
The Committee agreed that the scheme should be extended to all European Union Institutions and Agencies, and to the national parliaments of European Free Trade Area countries and of European Union applicant countries, subject to a limit of three visits a year; and that the Resolution of 9 May 2002 should accordingly be amended as set out in the attached Resolution D.