understand there has been some concern regarding additional funding for MPs expenses due to Coronavirus. I would like to clarify that this is an increase to the office costs budget and does not personally benefit MPs or staff in any way.
The decision, made by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), is to increase budgets to support working from home. For example, this could be to purchase a laptop or teleconferencing equipment. As always, evidence for any expenditure must be provided under IPSA rules.
Understandably, Coronavirus has led to an increase in correspondence and workload for my staff, and the office budget enables my staff to work efficiently and safely from home to support constituents remotely.
In the case of my office, we tend not to utilise all of the allocated office cost budget, so it’s highly unlikely that this additional top up will be spent. In any eventuality, unused budget is automatically returned to IPSA.
All MPs’ costs and expenses including their pay and pensions are regulated independently by IPSA. These are published online and is available here https://www.theipsa.org.uk/mp-costs.
Further information about the measures implemented by IPSA in response to the Coronavirus can be found here https://www.theipsa.org.uk/news/coronavirus-guidance/.