Documents to download

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.

It has no role in determining or paying ministerial salaries.

Members’ salaries

From 1 April 2020, the annual salary of a Member of Parliament increased to £81,932, in accordance with IPSA’s determination of July 2015. 

Under section 4A of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009, IPSA is required to undertake a statutory review of Members’ pay in the first year after a general election.

Following the December 2019 general election, IPSA launched the statutory consultation, the Periodic Adjustment to MPs’ Pay, on 8 October 2020.  It proposed retaining the link between public sector earnings and Members’ pay.  The consultation closed on 6 October 2020.

On 11 December 2020, IPSA announced that Members’ pay would be frozen for 2021/22.  It noted that its approach to setting Members’ pay since 2015 was “intended to last a generation” but the impact of the Covid pandemic had prompted many respondents to the consultation to call on IPSA to take a different approach.  It said that the IPSA Board would reflect on the consultation and publish its response in 2021.

Members’ expenses

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

IPSA undertook a comprehensive review of the Scheme, which began with a consultation issued in May 2016.

The review identified a number of changes that would be implemented following a general election, which at the time was scheduled for May 2020.  The early General Election in June 2017 meant that some changes were implemented in the course of the 2017/18 financial year. 

Following IPSA’s statutory review of MPs’ pay at the beginning of the 2017 Parliament, it made alterations to the arrangements for MPs who lost their seats at a general election.  It introduced a new Winding-Up Payment for MPs – two months’ net salary for MPs defeated at any general election and for MPs standing down at an early general election.

A Policy Review: Funding for MPs’ Staff, completed in March 2020, led to IPSA updating job descriptions and salary ranges for MPs’ staff, and funding for staff welfare expenses.  Accordingly, the Staffing Budget was increased.  Some alterations were also made to subletting arrangements and security assistance in the Scheme.  The Twelfth Edition of IPSA’s Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses came into force on 1 April 2020.  The main expense budgets provided in IPSA’s scheme; additional funding made available in the light of the coronavirus pandemic; and the maximum amounts that Members can claim in 2020/21 are set out below: 

  Initial limit Additional budget #

Accommodation costs:
  London area (rent)
  Outside London area (rent)
  Own home 

£23,010
£16,120
£5,410
 

Caring responsibility

£5,435  

London Area Living Payment

£4,090  

London Area Living Payment (addition)

£1,450  

Staffing Costs
  London Area MPs
  non-London Area MPs

£188,860
£177,550
£18,270
£16,480

Office Costs
  London Area MPs
  non-London Area MPs
  Start-up supplement

£28,800
£25,910
£6,000
up to £10,000^
up to £10,000^

Winding-up Costs
  London Area MPs
  non-London Area MPs

£57,150
£53,950
 

Winding-up Payment

Two month’s salary*  

Notes:
# “in response to the exceptional circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic”
* net of tax and National Insurance contributions
^ £10,000 increase to Office Costs was allowed in 2019/20, the portion of the £10,000 unspent in 2019/20 is available in 2020/21

Ministerial salaries

Ministers who are Members of the House of Commons receive a Member’s 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.

At present ministers in both Houses do not receive their full ministerial salaries. Currently ministers in the House of Commons receive their MP’s salary and the following additional amounts as ministers:

Prime Minister:                                                  £75,440

Cabinet Minister                                                £67,505

Minister of State:                                               £31,680

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State:            £22,475

On assuming office in May 2010, the Coalition Government announced that ministers’ total 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 only to the ministerial element of a minster’s total salary. 

When information on ministerial salaries from April 2018 was published, notes confirmed that “The Government has committed to continue to freeze Ministerial salaries”. 

In May 2019, the Leader of the House of Lords announced that Lords ministers’ pay would increase.  Reflecting the increases Commons ministers had received in their parliamentary salaries since May 2015, Lords ministerial salaries increased by 3.3% and from April 2019, they received their full entitlement.

In 2020/21 ministerial salaries were frozen. Although salary entitlements increased in line with the legislation, ministers in the Commons continued to receive the same level of ministerial salary as they had since 1 April 2014; and the salaries of ministers in the House of Lords were frozen at the rate payable since 1 April 2019.

A Library Briefing Paper on Members’ pay, expenses and ministerial salaries in 2019/20 is available on the Commons Library website:

Members’ pay and expenses and ministerial salaries 2019/20, CBP08839, 2 March 2020


Documents to download

Related posts