Requesting additional budget


Need extra budget? View the rules governing contingency budgets and learn how they can be used.

You can also visit Applying for contingency funding and get help with completing the Contingency Payments Application Form on IPSA Online.

Scheme rules

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

For more information, visit Applying for contingency funding.

IPSA may decide to accept or reject an application at its discretion.

In considering its decision IPSA shall take into account the following factors:

  • whether there are exceptional circumstances warranting additional support

  • whether the MP could reasonably have been expected to take any action to avoid the circumstances which gave rise to the expenditure or liability, and

  • whether the MP's performance of parliamentary functions will be significantly impaired by a refusal of the claim [10.8]

Removal costs for moving to new accommodation 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 accommodation costs budget. [4.17]

For more information, visit Applying for contingency funding.

For MPs representing Welsh constituencies, the cost of translation between the Welsh and English languages can be claimed from the contingency budget rather than the office costs budget.

No prior approval is required. [6.28]



If you are thinking about or planning a return to office working, please refer to government guidance about measures you should put in place to ensure it is a Covid-secure environment for staff and visitors.

You should also refer to any guidance available from the House of Commons Health & Safety team.  

Costs for more frequent deep-cleaning of your office and hygiene supplies can be claimed from your office costs budget. Where you need to make more significant alterations to the office, this cost can also be claimed.

In some cases, your landlord may have or share the responsibility to make changes to ensure a safe working environment, so you should speak to them in the first instance. In any case, you should always check whether your lease allows you to carry out such work or whether you need to get permission. You may also need to consider additional ongoing costs of running equipment once installed.  

If you think you may require additional funding for larger costs (such as where additional ventilation solutions are needed) which cannot be managed within the standard office costs budget, you can consider making an application for contingency funding (see further guidance below).

We are monitoring Covid-related office costs – including ongoing cleaning and maintenance – to inform decisions about future policy and budget setting. 

Contingency applications: Covid-secure office alterations  

We understand in some cases the layout or features of an office may make it more difficult to apply Covid-secure changes and therefore the costs of doing so will be more significant. If you are facing costs for these alterations (or other costs relating to making the office Covid-secure) which you do not think can be managed within your budget, you may consider making an application for contingency funding.

Applications are considered by a panel on a case-by-case basis. Upon receipt of an application, we will consider: 

  • whether the proposed alteration is in line with HSE, government and/or House of Commons guidance 

  • whether it is necessary in the circumstances (given the specific features of the office) 

  • whether it provides value for money (i.e. whether less costly alternatives are available) 

In addition to the points above, please make sure you include evidence of the cost (receipt/invoice/estimate) and a budget forecast with your application. You can contact your Account Manager for further advice on the contingency process.  

The Scheme of MPs’ Staffing and Business Costs allows MPs to apply for additional funding, known as contingency payments.

Please note: where you have been advised to apply for contingency by an IPSA staff member, this is not an indication of whether the outcome is likely to be successful.

All applications will be assessed by the panel against the assessment criteria above

What contingency funding is for

Where MPs 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 MPs’ 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.

Removal costs incurred by MPs when changing their accommodation or office. These are automatically covered by the Contingency Fund and a separate contingency application does not need to be made.

Staff redundancy payments resulting from MPs leaving Parliament (voluntarily or losing their seat at an election). Again, these are automatically covered by the Contingency Fund.

What contingency funding is not for

Contingency payments are not available to cover costs incurred as part of MPs’ or their staff members’ regular parliamentary functions, such as routine casework (even when there are high volumes) or office equipment hire.

Contingency payments are not available for MPs who wish to "top up" their budget at the end of the financial year without evidence of exceptional circumstances, or for expenditure that they have had reasonable opportunity to budget for.


To be considered for a contingency payment, MPs must complete and sign a Contingency Funds Application Form, setting out their case for additional funding.

MPs should provide evidence or explanation, where applicable, to support their application. IPSA will return an application if the information provided is not sufficient for a decision to be made.

While there is not an expectation that MPs should reduce spending in other areas to make room for an unexpected cost outside their control, MPs are expected to demonstrate that they have attempted to cover the cost within their existing budget.

Costs relating to Disability Assistance or Security Assistance should be applied for as described in Chapter 10 of the Scheme, not via the Contingency Fund.

If MPs have an exceptional need to purchase new office equipment or furniture during the winding-up period they must apply for contingency funding.

Contingency Panel decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, using the evidence provided.


Both approved and rejected applications to the Contingency Fund will be published on the IPSA website, as stated in our Publication Scheme.

Temporary and minor injuries

If MPs or staff members sustain temporary or minor injuries that affect their ability to carry out their parliamentary functions, they can apply to the Contingency Fund for expenditure incurred to support them outside the parliamentary estate, and for travelling to and from work.

For such cases, IPSA will require a medical report, in addition to an application form, which demonstrates the nature of the injury and how it will impair the individual’s ability to carry out their work. This can be in the form of a note from a GP, another medical professional, or the House of Commons Safety Health and Wellbeing Service.

IPSA may request a medical report that explains whether the injury is more significant, or permanent. If this is the case, funding should be applied for under Disability Assistance. Individual claims for Disability Assistance are not published. Only an aggregate figure for all Disability Assistance is published, once a year.

The role of the Contingency Panel (“the Panel”) is to consider applications from MPs for additional funding.

This additional funding will be for those MPs to undertake their parliamentary duties effectively, where a cost or liability is not covered by any of the budgets set out in the Scheme of MPs’ Staffing and Business Costs or where it exceeds any financial limits that may apply.

The Panel will have regard to paragraphs 10.11, 10.12 and 10.13 of the Scheme and the accompanying guidance. It will also have regard to other decisions taken by the Board and any other relevant guidance, as required.

The Panel will consider applications in the following areas.

  • staffing expenditure budgets

  • office costs budgets

  • accommodation budgets

  • other exceptional claims where there is not an established policy position or where the claim is not covered specifically by the rules or budgets set out in the Scheme

When a clear policy position is established and communicated to MPs, the claim can be handled through the miscellaneous section of the online system or any other budget as specified.

The Panel has delegated authority from the IPSA Board to make decisions about the provision of additional funding under the contingency arrangements.

The Panel may, using its judgement, make minor policy decisions on which there is no established policy. The Chair of the Panel will be responsible for deciding whether any particular case should be referred to the Board because it raises a more significant matter of principle on which there is no established policy.

All decisions regarding additional funding taken by the Panel have effect only for the relevant financial year.


The Contingency Panel is comprised of staff from across IPSA. Currently, the Panel includes the:

  • Director of Policy and Engagement (Chair)

  • Director of MP Services (or representatives)

  • Head of Finance (or a representative)

  • Head of Policy

  • Head of Payroll

  • Chief of Staff

  • Validation Manager

  • At least one other policy team representative

Where necessary, in considering a request for additional funding, the Panel will invite the appropriate MP Account Managers and/or Payroll Officers to represent the case and provide background information.

The policy team will provide advice and administrative support to the Panel.


The Panel will normally meet once a week. There should be at least three members of the Panel in attendance, and at least one person who is not from the policy team.

The Panel will assess each application on a case-by-case basis, making its judgement on whether each application provides sufficient justification to be approved. A proportionate approach will be taken in terms of information requirements that will be applied to applications that involve insignificant amounts of additional funding.

If an application is deemed to be urgent, the Chair may consider the application out of committee and if necessary, decide without consulting all other Panel members. However, the Chair should make every effort to consult all members of the Panel and should not decide without consulting at least one other member.

MPs will be notified of Panel decisions (including a request for further information) within 48 hours of the Panel sitting, with a routine target of 24 hours.

MPs may request that the Panel reconsider its initial decision, providing further evidence in support of the application.

If the MP is dissatisfied with the Panel’s decision following that reconsideration, they may ask for a review of the decision by either the Compliance Officer or Lea Paterson, IPSA Board Member (if the MP does not think that due process has been followed by the Panel).

There will be a minute of the decisions taken at every Panel meeting, which will be circulated to members of the Panel along with a list of actions.

The policy team will ensure that actions identified in the minutes are allocated to the appropriate person and completed. It is normally the responsibility of the Policy team to notify MPs of decisions, although this can be undertaken by other teams where appropriate.

Certain information about contingency applications and the Panel’s decisions, as well as costs claimed from the contingency budget, will be published on IPSA’s website, in line with IPSA’s publication policy.

Contact IPSA

To get additional support, contact us.