Salaries of Members of the United Kingdom Parliament
The basic annual salary of a Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons was £76,011, as of April 2017. In addition, MPs are able to claim allowances to cover the costs of running an office and employing staff, and maintaining a constituency residence and a residence in London. Additional salary is paid for appointments or additional duties, such as ministerial appointments, being a whip, chairing a select committee or chairing a Public Bill committee.
Salary and benefits: Commons
The first regular salary was £400 per year, introduced in 1911. Some subsequent salary levels were £1,000 in 1946, £3,250 in 1964, £11,750 in 1980, and £26,701 in 1990. The increases in MPs' basic salaries since 1996 have been:
|Increase date||Basic salary||Increase date||Basic salary||Increase date||Basic salary|
|Jan 1996||£34,085||Apr 2002||£55,118||Apr 2009||£64,766|
|Jul 1996||£43,000||Apr 2003||£56,358||Apr 2010||£65,738|
|Apr 1997||£43,860||Apr 2004||£57,485||Apr 2013||£66,396|
|Apr 1998||£45,066||Apr 2005||£59,095||Apr 2014||£67,060|
|Apr 1999||£47,008||Apr 2006||£59,686||May 2015||£74,000|
|Apr 2000||£48,371||Nov 2006||£60,277||Apr 2016||£74,962|
|Apr 2001||£49,822||Apr 2007||£61,181||Apr 2017||£76,011|
|Jun 2001||£51,822||Nov 2007||£61,820||Apr 2018||£77,379|
In December 2013, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority recommended that pay be increased to £74,000 per annum, linked "to the pay of the people they represent". At the same time, pensions benefits would be reduced, resettlement payments scrapped and expenses tightened. In July 2015, this was implemented (backdated to 8 May 2015, the day after the general election), with annual changes now "linked to changes in average earnings in the public sector".
Many MPs (the Prime Minister, Ministers, the Speaker, senior opposition leaders, opposition chief whip, etc.) receive a supplementary salary for their specific responsibilities. As of 1 April 2015 these additional entitlements range from £15,025 for Select Committee Chairs to £79,990 for the Prime Minister. On 24 May 2015 David Cameron announced that he intended to freeze ministerial pay for the next five years. However, on 2 June 2015 the Daily Mail reported that ministerial pay was to increase at the same time as MP's basic pay was increased to £74,000. The Prime Minister's total salary would therefore increase from £142,500 to £149,440. The total salary for Cabinet Ministers would increase from £134,565 to £141,505. The total salary for ministers would increase from £89,740 to £96,375. And the total salary for parliamentary under secretaries would increase from £89,435 to £96,375.
Salary of the Prime Minister
The Prime Minister does not always claim the total amount entitled to in legislation. The Prime Minister also gets other benefits, such as use of the Prime Minister's flat in Downing Street and other official residences, and chauffeur-driven transport. The Prime Minister's salary figures below include the salary for being an MP.
|1 Apr 2008||£193,885|
|1 Apr 2009|
|1 Apr 2010||£198,661|
|? Apr 2010||£150,000||Prime Minister Gordon Brown revealed on 20 April 2010, days before the 2010 General Election, that he had taken a voluntary cut. It is not clear when from, though on 1 Apr he was drawing the previous rate.|
|13 May 2010||£142,500||A Coalition Cabinet meeting on 13 May agreed a further 5% cut, and freeze until the 2015 General Election.|
|1 Apr 2011|
|1 Apr 2012|
|1 Apr 2013|
|1 Apr 2014|
|1 Apr 2015|
|8 May 2015||£149,440||On 31 July 2015, increases were announced that would be backdated to 8 May, the day after the 2015 General Election.|
|1 Apr 2016||£152,532||£150,402|
|1 Apr 2017||£153,907||£151,451|
- Office running costs
- Staffing costs
- Travel: staff
- Centrally purchased stationery
- Postage costs
- Central IT costs
- Communications Allowance
Expense outside IPSA
MPs are entitled to claim £9,000 a year for postage and stationery (financial year 2015-16). This amount is in addition to any stationery and postage costs which Members may have reimbursed under the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's expenses Scheme.
Housing, second home, and travel
MPs receive allowances towards having somewhere to live in London and in their constituency, and travelling between Parliament and their constituency.
- Cost of staying away from main home
- Travel: car
- Travel: rail
- Travel: bike
- Travel: European
MPs will normally receive a pension of either 1/40th or 1/50th of their final pensionable salary for each year of pensionable service depending on the contribution rate they will have chosen. Members who made contributions of 13.75% of their salary gain an accrual rate of 1/40th. According to a 2009 report in the Daily Mail, state contributions for MPs are more than four times higher than the average paid out by companies for final-salary schemes, but they are not significantly more generous than most public-sector pensions.
If an MP stands down during the course of a Parliament for ill health reasons, an ill health retirement grant is payable, calculated in the same way as the Resettlement Grant (as well as an immediate pension based on the service the MP would have accrued if he or she had continued to serve until age 65).
Resettlement Grant and Winding-up Allowance
On leaving the House of Commons, an MP will be entitled to what is essentially severance pay.
The Resettlement Grant is the name given to the MPs' severance pay package. It may be claimed to help former MPs with the costs of adjusting to life outside parliament. It is payable to any Member who ceases to be an MP at a General Election. The amount is based on age and length of service, and varies between 50% and 100% of the annual salary payable to a Member of Parliament at the time of the Dissolution.
In the UK the first £30,000 of severance pay is tax free. As stated above, the amount retiring MPs, or those who lose their seats receive, depends on how old they are and how long they have served in the House. For example, an MP who stays in office for one term (say 5 years) and then leaves office will currently receive tax-free severance pay of 50% of his current salary, or £32,383 at current rates – equivalent to an annual salary increment of over £12,000 at current tax rates and pay scales.
For the 2010–15 Parliament, only MPs defeated in their attempt to be re-elected will get one month’s salary for each year served, up to a maximum of six months or over £33,000. From the start of the 2015 Parliament, it will be replaced by a "Loss of Office Payment", at double the statutory redundancy payment. "For the 'average' MP, who leaves office with 11 years' service, this may lead to a payment of around £14,850."
There is also up to £42,000 on offer to pay for winding up staff contracts and office rent. An allowance of up to one third of the annual Office Costs Allowance was paid for the reimbursement of the cost of any work on Parliamentary business undertaken on behalf of a deceased, defeated or retiring Member after the date of cessation of Membership. On 5 July 2001 the House agreed to change the allowance to one third of the sum of the staffing provision and Incidental Expenses Allowance in force at the time of cessation of Membership.
Parliament takes a break of around 45 days for the summer. This is not only for holiday, but so that MPs can spend more time away from Parliament in their constituencies to do work there.
Salary and benefits: House of Lords
Members of the House of Lords are not salaried. They can opt to receive a £305 per day attendance allowance, plus travel expenses and subsidised restaurant facilities. Peers may also choose to receive a reduced attendance allowance of £150 per day instead.
Scrutiny and audit process of claims
In 2010, the payment of MPs' salaries and allowances, and many staff, was moved from the Fees Office, which was effectively self-policing by MPs of their expenses, to a more autonomous body, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. In 2010 the IPSA was also given the responsibility of setting MPs' salary levels. It is accountable to the Speaker's Committee for the IPSA, comprising the Speaker, the Leader of the House, the Chair of the Standards and Privileges Committee and five MPs selected by the Speaker (one of whom is the Shadow Leader of the House).
The National Audit Office, another independent parliamentary body, has some audit authority.
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