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Members' pay and expenses and ministerial salaries 2016/17

Published Thursday, November 10, 2016

This House of Commons Library Briefing Paper sets out the current rates of Members' pay and ministerial salaries. It provides background to recent changes. It also charts the changes in the rules relating to and budget limits for Members' expenses since 2010.

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The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) is responsible for determining and paying Members’ salaries; for preparing and regularly reviewing and revising a scheme under which allowances are paid; and for paying those allowances.

Members’ salaries

From 1 April 2016, the annual salary of a Member of Parliament increased to £74,962. This was the first automatic uprating of Members’ salaries since IPSA was given responsibility for determining Members’ pay. 

IPSA reviewed Members’ pay in the 2010 Parliament to put in place a new settlement for the 2015 Parliament. In December 2013, at the end of the review, IPSA published a determination which set the Members’ salary at £74,000, from the beginning of the 2015 Parliament, and provided for MPs’ salaries to be adjusted in line with the rate of annual change in average earnings on 1 April each year, from 2016.

In its statutory review of Members’ pay at the beginning of the 2015 Parliament, IPSA confirmed that Members’ pay would increase to £74,000, after the 2015 General Election, but it determined that subsequent annual increases should be in line with changes in public sector average earnings (not whole economy average earnings).

Members’ expenses

Since the 2010 General Election, responsibility for devising a scheme for and paying Members’ expenses has rested with IPSA.

The MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (Eighth Edition) came into effect on 1 April 2016.  The main expense budgets provided in IPSA’s scheme and the maximum amounts that Members can claim in 2016/17 are set out below (click to enlarge):






Ministerial salaries

Ministers who are Members of the House of Commons receive their Members’ salary and a ministerial salary. Ministers who are Members of the House of Lords receive a ministerial salary but they cannot claim Lords Attendance Allowance.

On assuming office in May 2010, the Coalition Government announced that ministers’ pay would be cut by 5% and then frozen for the duration of that Parliament. The previous Labour administration had already frozen ministerial salaries through refusing increases in both ministerial and Members’ salaries, so the actual earnings of ministers did not equate to their entitlements.

The Coalition Government made an Order in 2011 to set ministerial salaries in accordance with its May 2010 announcement. However, subsequent increases in Members’ pay led to ministers in the House of Commons waiving part of their ministerial salary to prevent their total remuneration increasing and meant that the salaries drawn by ministers were different to those stated in the legislation.

Following the May 2015 general election, David Cameron announced that he had decided to continue to freeze the pay of ministers in government. Unlike the 2010 Parliament, this freeze applied to the ministerial element of a minster’s total salary.  The ministerial element of salary drawn by ministers continues to be below that specified in legislation.

 This paper was corrected on 13 June 2017.
It previously reported that changes in Members’ salaries from April 2016 onwards were linked to changes in average earnings. In its July 2015 determination, IPSA changed this to changes in public sector average earnings.
North East Hertfordshire was listed as a London area constituency. It was removed from the list of London area constituencies from April 2012. 

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7762

Author: Richard Kelly

Topics: Members of Parliament, Ministers

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