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.
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
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.
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
21 paras 5.60-5.64. Back
First Report, 2005-06, HC 777, para 43. Back