Select Committee on Members Estimate Committee Second Report


45. The Resettlement Grant is currently payable when an MP leaves the House after a general election. It is calculated as a proportion of salary ranging between 50 and 100 per cent of final salary, dependent on age and length of service. The SSRB recommended that, with effect from the general election after next, Resettlement Grant should be paid at a rate of one month's salary for each year of service as an MP, up to a maximum of nine months' salary, to MPs who lose their seats at a general election or whose seats disappear as a result of boundary changes.[21] It would no longer be payable to Members who chose to retire.

46. We have heard concerns from Members about how this would work in practice and how it would affect Members who lose their seats when they are already sixty or more years of age. We have commissioned work from the Department of Resources on the implications of this recommendation and would like to hear comments from others on.

Should the SSRB recommendations on Resettlement Grant be implemented? How would it work in practice? Should the system take into account a former Member's prospects of getting another job?

47. The Winding Up Allowance is available for six months following an MP's departure from the House after a general election, to meet the staff, office and travel costs necessarily incurred on parliamentary duties that remain outstanding. It is used to pay for the orderly termination of staff contracts, office leases etc and covers expenditure which would previously have been met from the Staffing Allowance and IEP, together with specific expenses resulting from leaving the House, such as removal expenses and the disposal of confidential waste. The allowance is equivalent in value to one third of the Staffing Allowance plus one third of the IEP and is currently set at a maximum of £37,281 for the year 2007-08.

48. The SSRB also recommended the Winding Up Allowance be renamed Winding Up Expenditure and that, after the next general election, the ceiling be calculated as one third of the relevant annual Staffing Expenditure, plus one third of the limit on Other Office Expenditure and one third of the actual annual office rent or lease claimed by each MP concerned. In its 2006 report on Post election Services, the Administration Committee noted that in 2005-06 up to £ 34,694 could be claimed under this allowance. Out of the 136 former Members eligible for the allowance, only nine claimed 100 per cent of the total; just over fifty per cent of those former Members claimed more than 80 per cent of the total.[22] We have not so far heard any comments from Members about the SSRB recommendation on this matter. We have asked for advice on this from the Department of Resources.

Should the SSRB recommendation on winding up allowance be implemented?

21   paras 5.60-5.64. Back

22   First Report, 2005-06, HC 777, para 43. Back

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