Explanatory notes 2008/09
These notes apply to the Members' Reimbursement Scheme which was in force during the 2008/09 financial year. 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.
Eligibility to claim
- Members of the House of Lords (except those in receipt of a salary as a Minister, Office Holder or Lord of Appeal in Ordinary), are entitled to recover travel, subsistence and office costs incurred in connection with their Parliamentary duties.
- Ministers and Office Holders are able to recover Secretarial Expenses incurred in respect of their Parliamentary duties. In addition, the Lord Speaker, Chairman of Committees, the Principal Deputy Chairman of Committees, Leader of the Opposition and Opposition Chief Whip may be reimbursed personal travelling expenses from home to the House of Lords. The Lord Speaker, Chairman and Deputy Chairman of Committees are 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 are unpaid are entitled to reclaim their expenses under category A.
In 2008/09 the House of Lords sat for 147 days.
Expenses payable to Members within category A above are linked to attendance at:
- sittings of the House (excluding the State Opening of Parliament and judicial business)
- meetings of committees and sub-committees of the House (except judicial business)
- 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, can only be recovered if related to mandated Parliamentary business. In most cases these costs are met directly by the House but where Members have reclaimed their expenses they are included in the tables.
Expenses relating to travel, subsistence, office costs and the Accommodation Maintenance Allowance may be reimbursed in respect of certain mandated Parliamentary business away from Westminster (such as parliamentary delegations) and are included in the appropriate columns in the table. The sitting days listed, however, relate only to attendance at sittings and meetings falling within the four criteria listed above. This can result in a Member's claims appearing to exceed the maxima per sitting day. Attendance at "away from Westminster" Parliamentary business must therefore be taken into account when assessing Members' claims for reimbursement of expenses.
All figures shown relate to expenses incurred during the period 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009, the 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 to the rates of allowances are linked to the retail price index. The rates will not be increased in the year 09/10.
Column 1: Main Residence
This column shows the location of the Member's main residence, by county or equivalent region. Entries in this column are voluntary.
Column 2: Number of Days Attended
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. Judicial business is not classified as public business. Days on which a Member has 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 has travelled on Parliamentary business or as a Member of a Parliamentary delegation or a select committee.
Column 3: Overnight Subsistence
Members whose main residence is outside Greater London may claim for expenses of overnight accommodation in London while away from their only or main residence. A Member whose main residence is outside Greater London and who maintains a residence in London for the purpose of attending sittings of the House may claim this allowance towards the cost of maintaining such a residence.
Maximum amounts payable for each day of attendance:
- 1 April 2008 - 31 July 2008 £165.50
- 1 August 2008 - 31 March 2009 £174.00
Maintenance Allowance for a second home:
Members are also able to claim expenses under this heading whilst away from London, on select committee, parliamentary delegation or certain other official visits, if they maintain 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:
- 1 April 2008 - 31 July 2008 £110.50
- 1 August 2008 - 31 March 2009 £116.00
Column 4: Day Subsistence
This allowance is intended to cover such items as the cost of meals and incidental travel not separately recoverable.
Maximum amount payable for each day of attendance:
- 1 April 2008 - 31 July 2008 £82.50
- 1 August 2008 - 31 March 2009 £86.50
Column 5: Office Costs
Members may 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 arise out of parliamentary duties).
Maximum amount payable for each day of attendance:
- 1 April 2008 - 31 July 2008 £71.50
- 1 August 2008 - 31 March 2009 £75.00
Office costs incurred on days when the House is not sitting or a Member does not attend may be claimed up to an additional 40 days per year (1 August - 31 July).
Members are able to claim expenses incurred under this heading whilst away from the House on select committee, parliamentary delegation or certain other official visits.
Columns 6a-c: Travelling Expenses
Members may recover the costs of fares incurred in travelling between their principal 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 31 March
- 25p per mile for mileage in excess of 10,000 miles in the same year
- 24p per mile
- 20p per mile
Column 6a: Attendance Travel Costs
Expenses incurred in travelling between a Member's principal residence and Westminster for the purpose of attending sittings of the House.
Column 6b: UK Travel
In addition to the normal travel arrangements, the cost of journeys made on Parliamentary business elsewhere within the United Kingdom may also be recovered.
Column 6c: EU and Devolved Assembly Travel
Members are able to recover the costs of two return journeys per year, travelling on parliamentary duties, between the United Kingdom and any European Union Institution in Brussels, Luxembourg or Strasbourg or the national parliament of a European Union state or candidate country. Members are 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.
Travel costs within columns 6a to 6c have been further analysed by mode of transport. As ferry and coach costs are minimal, they have been included under rail costs.
Column 7: Free Postage Costs
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.
Column 8: Ministers' Secretarial Expenses
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.
Maximum amounts payable:
- 1 April 2008 - 31 July 2008 £5,389pa
- 1 August 2008 - 31 March 2009 £5,658pa
Column 9: IT Equipment
Members are entitled to the loan of up to two PCs (one desktop, one laptop or two laptops) and a printer for use on Parliamentary business. IT equipment is replaced every three years. The costs of a broadband installation and line rental are also paid by the House.
Column 10: PDA Equipment
Members are entitled to the loan of one 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.
House of Commons Members' Allowances and further related information is available on the main Members' Allowances for both Houses page.