The Peers' Reimbursement Allowance Scheme - A General Guide 2003 September 2003 Edition

4 Attendance Expenses

4.1 General

4.1.1 Members of the House of Lords, except those in receipt of a salary as a Minister, Office Holder or Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, are entitled to recover travel, subsistence and office costs incurred in connection with their parliamentary duties in attending:

  • sittings of the House (excluding attendance at the State Opening of Parliament and sittings for judicial business)
  • meetings of committees and sub-committees of the House (except judicial business)
  • meetings as a member of the Board of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST)
  • meetings as a member of the Parliamentary Broadcasting Unit Limited (PARBUL).

4.1.2 Costs incurred in respect of an attendance at any other meeting, whether held at Westminster or not, cannot be recovered unless the Member attends a meeting falling within paragraph 4.1.1 on the same day.

4.1.3 Members travelling on parliamentary business away from Westminster as, for example, members of a select committee or a United Kingdom parliamentary delegation have the expenses of the trip reimbursed under separate arrangements set out in sections 5 to 9. Members are not therefore entitled to claim against the overnight and day subsistence elements of the Peers Reimbursement Allowance scheme for the same days when they are away from Westminster on such parliamentary business.

4.1.4 Members who wish to claim attendance expenses should complete and sign the attendance expenses claim form (see Annex A) and forward it as soon as convenient after the end of each month, or period of claim, to the Accountant, House of Lords. A Member's signature effectively certifies that the amount claimed has been spent for the purposes of parliamentary duties as set out above. Receipts are not required.

4.1.5 Claims are not admissible retrospectively for more than three months prior to the month in which the claim is made.

4.1.6 The latest version of the attendance expenses claim form is always available from the Printed Paper Office and the Accountant's Office.

4.1.7 The reverse of the attendance expenses claim form contains a "quick guide". This includes the current maxima of the allowances and the names of the staff to contact in the Accountant's Office. The "quick guide" will be updated regularly and whenever the maxima of the allowances are increased, currently in April and August of each year.

4.2 Travelling Expenses

4.2.1 Claims may be made only for journeys over five-miles between a Member's main place of residence in the United Kingdom and Westminster in connection with attendance at a sitting or meeting as defined in paragraph 4.1.1. Members with more than one main place of residence may have an alternative home registered with the Accountant's Office for the purpose of claiming travelling expenses. Additional arrangements apply should the House be recalled during a recess; see paragraph 4.8.

4.2.2 Members may recover the cost of fares incurred by them for travel by any public railway, sea, and air or bus service.

4.2.3 Members are entitled to claim the cost of first class tickets when travelling by rail and business class tickets when travelling by air. However, Members are expected to avail themselves of any available cheap ticket facilities. The cost of "rail cards", for example a senior citizen rail card, can be reimbursed.

4.2.4 Travel by Rail - Claims may include the cost of sleeping berths and seat reservations.

4.2.5 Travel by Air - Claims may include travel by coach between airport and air terminal

4.2.6 Travel by Road - Claims in respect of journeys by private car are restricted to an allowance of 56.1p per mile (from 1 April 2003 until 31 March 2004). This allowance will be reduced to 25.9p per mile if the total mileage claimed in the year ending 31 March 2004 exceeds 20,000 miles. No other claims in respect of motoring expenses will be admitted. However, incidental travel costs such as tolls, congestion charges and car-parking charges can be claimed against the daily limit of the day subsistence and incidental travel allowance referred to in paragraph 4.5.

4.2.7 In certain circumstances claims for double journeys will be admitted, e.g. when a Member's car takes him to, or fetches him from, a railway station or airport and is thereby necessarily involved in a double journey.

4.2.8 Claims in respect of hired cars may be made on the same basis as for a privately owned car, i.e. Members can be reimbursed the normal mileage allowance for the miles actually travelled in the hired car.

4.2.9 Travel by private car is considerably more expensive than by public transport and Members are therefore urged to use public transport wherever practicable.

4.2.10 Claims in respect of journeys undertaken by bicycle are paid at the rate of 7.2p per mile (from 1 April 2003 until 31 March 2004).

4.2.11 Claims can be made for combined journeys made partly by air, partly by rail, partly by road, etc.

4.2.12 Claims for incidental travel costs (e.g. those arising from short distance journeys within a five-mile radius of Westminster, tolls and car parking charges) are covered by the day subsistence allowance (see section 4.5).  

4.3 Spouses' Travel  

4.3.1 A Member may recover the cost incurred by a wife or husband for travel between home and Westminster to attend Parliamentary occasions, subject to a limit of two return journeys per calendar year.

4.3.2 Claims under this heading should be included on the attendance expenses claim form.

4.4 Night Subsistence

4.4.1 Members who do not live within reasonable daily travelling distance of Westminster, and incur the expense of overnight accommodation in London while away from their only or main residence for the purpose of attending sittings of the House, as defined in paragraph 4.1.1, may claim for such expenses . The maximum daily limit is £128.00 (from 1 August 2003 until 31 July 2004).  

4.4.2 A Member whose main residence is outside Greater London and who maintains a residence in London for the purpose of attending sittings of the House, may claim this allowance towards the cost of maintaining such a residence.

4.4.3 Claims for night subsistence are only permissible in respect of nights actually spent in London either immediately before or after attendance at the sittings or meetings described in paragraph 4.1.1 above. If it is necessary for a Member to travel to Westminster on the day immediately before a sitting (for example, to attend a meeting in connection with Parliamentary duties on the morning of the sitting), the expenses of accommodation in London so incurred may be claimed. For example, a Member who necessarily travels to London on a Sunday and attends sittings of the House on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and then returns home on Friday or later may claim night subsistence for a maximum of 5 nights at up to a maximum of £128 per night (i.e. a maximum of £640 for the week). However, if the Member returned home on the Thursday evening, the maximum claim for night subsistence would be 4 nights at up to a maximum of £128 per night (i.e. a maximum of £512 for the week).

4.4.4 Members who choose to travel home each night cannot claim the night subsistence allowance.

4.5 Day Subsistence and Incidental Travel

4.5.1 Lords may claim day subsistence and incidental travel costs not separately recoverable, within a daily limit of £64.00 (from 1 August 2003 until 31 July 2004) for each day of attendance. This allowance is intended to cover such items as the cost of meals and incidental travel costs (e.g. short distance journeys within a five-mile radius of Westminster, taxi fares, tolls and car parking charges). It also includes an element to cover the costs of providing refreshments for a Member's visitors to the House on official business.

4.5.2 Claims against this subsistence heading are restricted, within the daily maxima, to the amounts actually incurred in connection with attendance at the House of Lords (as defined in paragraph 4.1.1).

4.6 Office Costs

4.6.1 Costs under this heading were formerly known as "secretarial expenses".

4.6.2 Members may recover certain office costs certified by them as incurred for the purpose of attending a sitting or a meeting defined in paragraph 4.1.1.

4.6.3 Such claims may include the cost of secretarial help, research assistance and where appropriate the cost of providing necessary equipment, together with the cost of certain additional expenses (e.g. domestic costs, purchase of books and periodicals and professional subscription charges that arise out of parliamentary duties) within a limit of £53.50 (from 1 August 2003 until 31 July 2004) for each day of attendance at the House. 4.6.4 Office costs incurred in respect of days on which the House is not sitting, or the House is sitting but a Member does not attend, may also be claimed for up to an additional 40 days a year, (i.e. within a limit of £2,140.00 a year from 1 August 2003 to 31 July 2004).  

4.7 Disablement

4.7.1 Members who are disabled may also recover the additional expenses of attending the House incurred by them because of their disablement and not recoverable within the normal daily limits. This may include the additional cost of travel, specialist assistance or equipment etc. There are no general guidelines for such claims and each case is considered on its merits. In the main, it is left to the Member to decide to what extent disability contributes towards the additional cost of attending the House on parliamentary duties. Applications for additional expenses because of disablement should be submitted to the Accountant, and are subject to the approval of the Clerk of the Parliaments.

4.8 Recall of the House

4.8.1 Should the House be recalled during a Parliamentary recess, Lords who are away from their main place of residence may recover the costs necessarily incurred in attending a sitting of the House, including the cost of travel from overseas. A separate claim form is available from the Accountant's Office to recover travel costs in addition to those incurred travelling from a Member's main place of residence.






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