Overview

View the latest budgets set for the current financial year, how to apply for contingency funding and details of what each capped budget can be used for.

You can find guidance on running budget and claims reports on IPSA Online – including the Payroll Modelling Report – as well as guidance on reporting and financial terminology, how IPSA pro-rates budgets, links to our budget management webinars, and guidance on year-end.

Scheme rules

Below is a summary of the budget types, areas, eligibility, and budget amounts available for 2023-24.

Budget headingArea / Eligibility2022-23 budget2023-24 budget
AccommodationLondon£25,080£26,840
AccommodationConstituency (outside London) £17,840£19,090
Accommodation – associated costs only(Non-London Area MPs only)£5,910£6,330
Accommodation uplift for dependantsPer eligible dependant (max of three uplifts)£5,720£6,120
Office costsLondon Area MPs£31,620£33,840
Office costsNon-London Area MPs£28,570£30,570
Start-up supplementNewly elected MPs£6,000£6,000
Staffing costsLondon Area MPs£237,430£252,870
Staffing costsNon-London Area MPs £221,750£236,170
London Area Living Payment (LALP) 96 London Area MPs£4,310£4,435
Additional LALPLondon Area MPs of 23 outer London constituencies£1,530£1,575
MP parental leave and absence cover(Pro-rata for period of absence)£61,800£64,828
Hotel nightly cost limitLondon / Europe£190/night£210/night
Hotel nightly cost limitRest of UK£150/night£150/night
Subsistence cost limit(Per overnight stay)£25

Download an offline version of the Budgets for 2023-24.

For more information, visit:

Accommodation costs may only be claimed for one of the following at a time :

  • hotel accommodation

  • rental payments

  • associated costs” on rentals or owned property

  • for MPs who own their property, associated costs only [4.3]

MPs can claim for the costs of more than one office provided that they stay within budget.

If you can demonstrate exceptional circumstances, you may be eligible for contingency funding to allow for the operation of more than one office. [6.3]

MPs may claim for the costs of a home office – if that is where they routinely work from.

IPSA will only pay claims for costs that are additional to those which are part of the normal cost of living in the home.

Staff members who are home-based may claim homeworking costs that are additional to normal costs of living in the home, or receive the homeworking allowance (under [7.17]), but cannot do both in the same period. [6.6]

To be funded by IPSA, a constituency office must be located in the constituency – unless it is a home office.

A home office can be claimed for even if it is more than 20 miles from the constituency boundary. [6.7]

Rent cannot be claimed for a home office. The location will also be treated as the MP’s home rather than an office for the consideration of any travel claims. [6.8]

This is covered by Requesting additional budget.

For more information on using IPSA Online, visit Applying for contingency funding.

Removal costs for moving to new office premises may be claimed from the contingency budget. No pre-approval is required.

Other costs associated with moving, including any legal costs, must be claimed from the office costs budget. [6.9]

MPs may claim under office costs for "routine security measures", i.e. not those which are now funded by the House of Commons as recommended or further security measures. [6.10]

For more information, visit Security measures & assistance.

When submitting claims for telephone calls, MPs should only claim for that proportion of the costs which has been incurred for parliamentary purposes. [6.29]

MPs may claim for pooled staffing services from either the office costs or staffing budget. [6.30]

Visit Staffing costs and Staffing costs you can claim for more information.

IPSA will not pay claims for any of the following:

  • alcoholic drinks

  • stationery provided by the House of Commons

  • newsletters

  • funding of any material, other than websites, that contains a party-political logo or emblem, or

  • personal accountancy or tax advice [6.5]

Staffing costs may be claimed to meet the cost of staff who support MPs in performing their parliamentary functions.

"Staff" should be taken to include "apprentices" where those apprenticeships meet the standards of the National Apprenticeship Service, and "employed interns", except where otherwise stated. [7.1]

Nothing in the Scheme affects the MP's position as the employer of his or her staff. [7.2]

The staffing budget may be used to meet the following costs:

  • staff salaries, employers' contributions to National Insurance and employers' contributions to pension schemes

  • payments for pooled staffing services, which provide research, briefing and drafting services to groups of MPs, and have an arrangement with IPSA in place

  • payments for bought-in services, where staffing services are provided by companies, self-employed individuals and others not on the MP’s payroll

  • overtime payments, to the extent that these are specified in staff terms and conditions

  • payments for childcare vouchers for staff, cycle-to-work schemes, or other payments by way of salary sacrifice

  • reward and recognition payments, except where the employee is a connected party

  • one-off health and welfare costs associated with provision of staffing support, such as eyesight tests and occupational health assessments

  • costs associated with apprenticeships that meet the standards of the National Apprenticeship Service

  • the incidental expenses of volunteers

  • staff training costs (which may also be claimed from the office costs budget). [7.3]

For more information about the claim limits and the staffing costs you can claim, visit Staffing costs claim limits and Staffing costs you can claim.

Exceeding your staffing costs budget

IPSA will not accept any claims or requests for payments (including payment of overtime, increases in salary, the addition of new staff members to payroll, or other changes to the staff complement) where these will take an MP over the staffing budget limit for the year. [7.4]

You can use the Staff Budget 2022-23 Monthly and Yearly Salary Calculator to help with staffing budgets.

MPs may apply to IPSA for contingency funding, under the following circumstances:

  • where they have incurred a cost, or liability for a cost, which is not covered by the Scheme, but which they consider to be in support of their parliamentary functions

  • where their spending under a particular budget has exceeded or may exceed the budget limit for the year and they consider this to be the result of exceptional circumstances [10.6]

To apply for contingency funding, MPs must complete an application form and follow the process as set out in guidance. [10.7]

You can complete the Contingency Funding Application Form on IPSA Online.

For contingency applications in relation to the situation in Afghanistan, please download this form and send it to info@theipsa.org.uk

For more information, visit Applying for contingency funding.

Using IPSA Online

Guidance

Report terms

Transaction number – this is the unique number of a transaction made against your budgets. This includes claim numbers, direct payment numbers and the numbers of other journals, such as those of credit notes and accruals. This is not unique to an individual line, so multiple lines could have the same transaction number.

Claim number – this is a type of transaction number unique to each claim form you submit. On the Business Costs Breakdown report, this will appear under "Transaction number", while on MPD Expenses Details this will appear under "claim number". The claim number begins with "600".

Direct payment number – This is a type of transaction number unique to each direct payment made. On the Business Costs Breakdown report, this will appear under "Transaction number". On the MPD Direct Payments by MP report, this will appear under "Direct Payment Number". Direct payments include rent paid to landlords, as well as payments for bills from other direct suppliers such as Banner, XMA and the Chambers Travel Office.

Claim line – this is the line number of an individual line of a claim. The first line is 1, the second line is 2, and so on. All individual claim lines share the same claim number.

Transaction date – this is the date that an item of spend was posted against your budget – unless the spend has not yet been approved, in which case it is the date you submitted the claim. If the item has the status "posted" on the MPD Expenses Details Report, or is included in your Business Costs Breakdown, then it has been posted against your budget.

Line date – this is the date the business cost was incurred. For a reimbursement claim, this is the date that was selected as the business cost date. For a payment card claim, it is the date the spend was made on the IPSA-provided payment card.

Claim line submitted date – the date you submitted the claim line to IPSA.

Supplier – to whom the payment was made.

Status – the status of a claim on MPD Expenses Details report shows whether an initiated claim is:

  • a "draft"– which means it has not been submitted)

  • "for approval" – which means it is waiting with yourself or IPSA, or

  • "posted" – which means it has been approved by IPSA and will be paid and allocated against your budget

Posted – an item of expenditure has been "posted" when it has been allocated – or “posted” – against your budget. Once posted, an item of expenditure will be included in the spend shown on your dashboard. Claims are only posted once all claim lines have been processed by IPSA.

Expense Type – the category that an item of expenditure falls under. When submitting claims this is selected by whoever made the claim. There is a complete list of all expense types as part of our evidence requirements.

Financial terms

Accruals accounting – this is the main method of accounting used by central government, including IPSA, as required by HM Treasury. Accruals accounting:

  • counts money as being spent when a business cost was incurred, irrespective of when the cash was paid, and

  • revenue as received when earned, irrespective of when the income was received

For example, a fuel bill for the period January to March received and paid in April, will be recorded as expenditure for the period January to March.

Budget – the amount of money allocated for a specific purpose. The amount of each budget and its purpose is outlined in the Scheme of MPs' Staffing and Business Cost.

Year-end – in the accountancy world, organisations need to prepare their complete accounts each year. The "year-end" refers to the day the financial period ends. For IPSA this is the 31 March.

Year-end process – this is the process at the end of the financial year which allows any costs that have been paid in a different financial year to the one in which they were incurred to be moved into the correct financial year.

Financial year – the government financial year in the UK runs from 1 April to 31 March. This is the period that your budgets run between, meaning they will renew on 1 April each year. In IPSA Online the financial year that runs from 01/04/2020 to 31/03/2021 is referred to as "2020".

Period – these are the months of the financial year. They run from April to March. April is period 1 of the financial year. IPSA also uses period 13 and 14 where necessary, and in common with other organisations, to reflect adjustments needed for the financial year after the end of period 12 (March).

Pre-payment – costs for goods or services that relate to one financial year, but for which the payment was made in the previous financial year. If a claim is pre-paid then the cost of the claim is moved into the next financial year. For example, if you paid Council Tax in March, but it related to April, then this expenditure is a pre-payment.

Accrual – costs for goods or services that relate to one financial year, but for which the payment is made in the next. If a claim is accrued then the cost of a claim is moved back into the previous financial year. For example, if you paid Council Tax in April, but it related to March, then this expenditure is an accrual.

Repayment – when a cost or service is claimed, but subsequently repaid to IPSA.

Credit note – a tool used by IPSA to establish or recognise debt on IPSA Online which returns spend against your budget (crediting the budget). When you action a credit note you recognise there is debt owed to IPSA which is then credited against your budget.

Journal – a journal entry is an act of keeping or making records of any transactions. The journal entry can consist of several recordings, each of which is either a debit or a credit. If, for example, a processed cost was moved from the travel budget to the accommodation budget, then the accommodation budget would receive debit and the travel budget would receive credit.

Accrued income – this is income earned in one financial year and not yet paid to IPSA, but will be paid to IPSA in the next financial year. For example, subletting income earned in one financial year, but not received until the next.

Deferred income – this is income earned and paid to IPSA in one financial year where the service will be carried out in the next financial year. For example, subletting income paid in advance in one financial year, but for services provided in the next.

Overspend – when expenditure exceeds an allocated budget.

Expenditure – money spent on goods or services.

The funds available to MPs are broken down into separate budgets:

Staffing

The staffing budget is largely made up of payroll costs, which are paid directly to the staff MPs employ to assist them in carrying out their duties in Westminster and the constituency. The budget covers all payroll costs (salaries, employers' national insurance contributions and pension contributions). It also covers pooled staffing services and costs for volunteers. Staffing costs account for approximately three-quarters of the total spend by an MP on average.

Office costs

The office costs budget allows MPs to buy everything they need to run their office and constituency surgeries – this includes costs such as rent, business rates, equipment and stationery.

Travel and subsistence

The travel and subsistence budget covers travel between the constituency and Westminster, travel within the constituency and elsewhere on parliamentary business. It also covers some limited hotel costs for MPs and their staff.

Accommodation

The accommodation budget covers the cost of overnight accommodation in either London or the constituency. This can cover hotels, a rented property or utility bills etc on a property the MP owns. MPs who represent a constituency in the London Area are not entitled to claim from this budget.

Start-up

The start-up budget is provided to MPs in their first year of office, covering the costs incurred in starting up an office, such as buying office furniture.

Miscellaneous

There are also additional one-off costs paid from the miscellaneous budget. This covers other parliamentary costs which are not covered by other parts of the rules, but which have been approved by IPSA. It also covers any residential accommodation costs incurred in the two months after an MP has left Parliament.

The Yearly salary calculator allows offices to run a quick forecast of the staffing budget expenditure for a 12-month period.

It is commonly used at the beginning of the financial year when the staff modelling report is not yet available.

Throughout the year, it can be used alongside the Staff Modelling Report to check whether there are any variations to the original forecast.

MPs can use the MP team report to check their current staff’s salaries and enter them into the calculator to conduct an annual overview of the total costs being charged to the staffing budget.

Open the Yearly salary calculator.

IPSA will pro-rate budgets when they are made available to MPs at a date other than the start of the financial year or are closed before the end of the financial year.

This applies to all capped budgets provided by IPSA.

Budgets will be pro-rated when:

  • an MP is elected during the financial year

  • an MP leaves their seat during the financial year, whether at an election or for another reason

  • an MP begins claiming for associated costs in a property they own

  • an MP moves between associated costs and rented accommodation/hotels

  • an MP moves from the constituency to London (or vice versa)

  • an MP registers a dependant

Where a budget must be pro-rated, the adjusted budget will be pro-rated by day.

This means the MP will receive 1/365 of the annual budget for each day they are drawing the budget. In leap years the budget will be divided by 366.

In the past, IPSA has chosen to increase MPs’ pro-rated budgets at general elections. This is because MPs may take or leave office unexpectedly at elections and because MPs are not expected to spend at an even rate throughout the year.

Increasing MPs’ budgets in this way, whether at elections or in other circumstances where an MP leaves office, will be considered on a case-by-case basis. MPs will be informed of election-year budgets in IPSA’s election guidance at the earliest opportunity.

Budget headingArea/Eligibility2022-23 budget1/365
Accommodation – rental or hotel London£25,080£68.71
Accommodation – rental or hotel Constituency (outside London) £17,840£48.88
Accommodation – associated costs only(Non-London MPs) £5,910£16.19
Accommodation uplift for MPs with dependantsPer eligible dependent per year (max. three uplifts) £5,720£15.67
Office costs London Area MPs £31,620£86.63
Office costsNon-London Area MPs £28,570£78.27
Staffing costs London Area MPs £237,430£650.49
Staffing costs Non-London Area MPs £221,750£607.53

Example scenario

  • An MP is elected on 1 February.

  • They receive budget for the days served in office in February (28) and March (31) for the 2022/23 financial year.

  • This means their pro-rated budgets will be 1/365 of each budget multiplied by the 59 days served.

  • For accommodation outside London, the pro-rated budget would be £2,883.92 (£48.88 × 59 days).

  • If they are a non-London Area MP, the pro-rated office costs budget would be £4,617.93 (£78.27 × 59 days).

IPSA will pro-rate budgets when an MP takes or leaves office.

What happens when an MP is elected during the financial year?

If an MP is elected during the financial year the relevant budgets will be pro-rated starting the day after the election until the end of the financial year or they leave office – whichever is soonest.

What happens when an MP leaves their seat during the financial year?

When an MP leaves their seat the relevant budgets will be pro-rated to the end of the four-month winding-up period.

IPSA will pro-rate accommodation budgets in several circumstances.

Budgets will be pro-rated when:

  • an MP is elected during the financial year

  • an MP begins claiming for associated costs in a property they own

  • an MP moves between associated costs and rented accommodation/hotels

  • an MP moves from rented accommodation/hotels in the constituency to London (or vice versa)

  • an MP registers a dependant

What happens if an MP is elected during the financial year?

If an MP is elected during the financial year the relevant budgets will be pro-rated starting the day after the election until the end of the financial year or they leave office – whichever is soonest.

What happens if an MP begins claiming for associated costs in a property they own?

MPs may choose to claim for associated costs (such as Council Tax and utilities) if they live in a property they own.

The associated costs budget will be pro-rated from the date the MP registers the property until they leave the property, or until the end of the financial year, or they leave office – whichever is the soonest.

What happens if an MP moves between associated costs and rented accommodation or hotels?

If an MP moves from a property they own (and are claiming associated costs) into rental or hotel accommodation during the financial year, the budget will be pro-rated to the day before they register for alternative accommodation.

The new accommodation budget will be pro-rated from the date of registration until they leave the property, or until the end of the financial year, or they leave office – whichever is the soonest.

What happens if an MP moves from rented accommodation/hotels in the constituency to London (or vice versa)?

If an MP moves in to, or out of, London the accommodation budget will be pro-rated to the day before the move.

The new accommodation budget will be pro-rated from the date of the move until they leave the property, or until the end of the financial year, or they leave office – whichever is the soonest.

What happens if an MP registers a dependant?

MPs are eligible for an uplift to their accommodation budget where they need to provide accommodation for dependants, up to a maximum of three dependants.

This does not apply where an MP lives in their own home and claims associated costs.

The uplift amount will be pro-rated from the day the dependant is registered with IPSA.

Where a dependant meets the defined criteria, the MP will continue to be eligible for the uplift until the end of that financial year.

IPSA may use its discretion to apply the uplift shortly before the birth or adoption of a child to allow an MP to secure appropriate accommodation beforehand.

This webinar outlines how to run the Payroll Modelling Report in IPSA Online.

Watch the Payroll Modelling Report webinar.

This webinar takes you through the budget and claim tools on IPSA Online and provides guidance on budget management.

Register for the Managing your Business Costs webinar.

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