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Members' Expenses

Volume 173: debated on Tuesday 5 June 1990

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To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will list (a) the different expenses and administrative allowances available to hon. Members and (b) similar financial provisions in the parliamentary assemblies of (i) the United States of America, (ii) the Federal Republic of Germany, (iii) France, (iv) Spain and (v) the European Parliament, specifying the different cash amounts in sterling terms.

[holding answer 18 May 1990]: The information requested is as follows:

Parliamentary allowances
CountryAllowance
SUBSISTENCE AND CONSTITUENCY COSTS
United Kingdom—Member of the House of CommonsAdditional costs allowance of up to £10,138 for those with constituencies outside London for cost of maintaining second home
Local allowance of £1,222 for those with constituencies in London
United States—Member of the House of Representatives
Federal Republic of Germany—Member of the BundestagConstituency costs of 1DM 5,274 (£1,864) per month, (DM 63,288 (£22,367) per annum) covering:
—postage
—mileage costs
—cost of second home
Hotel room bills paid when overnight stays necessary
Accommodation and subsistence (variable depending on country visited) paid on official trips abroad
France—Deputy in the National AssemblyHousing allowance of F Fr 848·20 (£89) per month (F Fr 10,178 (£1,068) per annum)
Subsistence of F Fr 7,280·36 (£764) per month (F Fr 87,365 (£9,165) per annum)

Country

Allowance

Spain—Member of Congress of Deputies
Member of the European ParliamentSubsistence allowance of ECU 162 (£118) per day for attending meetings within the EC territory and ECU 81 (£59) per day plus cost of over night accommodation etc for attending meetings outside territory
TRAVEL
United Kingdom—Member of the House of CommonsFree travel to and from House and on parliamentary business in United Kingdom and/or motor mileage allowance of up to 20,000 miles

Further mileage

l,300cc23·3p12·7p
1,301cc-2,300cc35·4p16·7p
2,301cc +56·0p28·0p
United States—Member of the House of RepresentativesSee official expenses allowance
Federal Republic of Germany—Member of the BundestagFree first class season ticket for rail travel, including sleeper tickets2
Free first class air travel for official internal flights
Free use of the Bundestag fleet of official cars for trips within 20 km around Bonn and to Bonn-Cologne airport
Free first class flights and local transport costs for official trips abroad
France—Deputy in the National AssemblyFree railway pass for first class and sleeper carriages
40 free internal return flights
Spain—Member of Congress of DeputiesFree travel between constituency and Congress
Congressional charge card provided to pay for 1st class train or Club class air travel using national carriers
Car travel allowance of 70 Pesetas (£0·40p) per kilometre
Member of the European ParliamentFlat rate travel allowance of ECU 0·62 (£0·45p) per kilometre for the first 400 km and ECU 0·31 (£0·23p) for additional mileage for travel within the community to attend meetings
Reimbursement of the return air fare by the most direct route for travel outside EC territory to attend meetings
Travel allowance of up to ECU 2,500 (£1,813) per annum for travel in performance of duties other than to attend meetings
OFFICE AND SECRETARIAL ASSISTANCE
United Kingdom—Member of the House of CommonsOffice costs allowance of up to £24,903 (+10 per cent. for pension contributions of any staff employed)

Country

Allowance

United States—Member of the House of RepresentativesClerk hire allowance of US $441,120 (£260,525) to hire up to 18 permanent and 4 non-permanent staff
Official expenses allowance of between US $104,000 (£61,422) and US $302,000 (£178,360) calculated according to Member's districts distance from Washington. The average is US $146,000 (£86,227). Covers travel, office equipment, district office lease, stationery, telecommunications, mass mailing, postage, computer services, and official expenses in general3
Federal Republic of Germany—Member of the BundestagSecretarial and research costs of DM 11,600 (£4,100) per month (DM 139,200 (£49,196) per annum) for one secretary in Bonn, one in constituency and one researcher
Stationery costs of DM 2,063 (£729) per annum
France—Deputy in the National AssemblySecretarial Allowance of F Fr 18,956 (£1,989) per month (F Fr 227,472 (£23,862) per annum)
Contribution towards cost of research assistants etc. F Fr 21,460 (£2,251) per month (F Fr 257,520 (£27,014) per annum)
Spain—Member of Congress of DeputiesNo provision for individual Deputies. Instead, allowances given to each parliamentary group, pro-rated according to number of seats held, to cover office expenses including rental. Each deputy will soon be provided with own office but no secretarial help will be provided
Member of the European ParliamentGeneral expenditure allowance of ECU 2,342 (£1,699) per month for office management costs, telephone, postage and travel within their Member states4
Secretarial assistance allowance of up to ECU 4,530 (£3,285) per month
Communications allowance of up to ECU 1,000 (£725) a year towards purchase and running costs of data processing and transmission equipment and a fax machine in the Member's constituency
POSTAGE
United Kingdom—Member of the House of CommonsFree inland postage
United States—Member of the House of RepresentativesSee official expenses allowance
Federal Republic of Germany—Member of the BundestagFree postage from Bonn (constituency postage is met from constituency costs)
France—Deputy in the National AssemblyFree postage

Country

Allowance

Spain—Member of Congress of DeputiesFree postage
Member of the European ParliamentSee general expenditure allowance
TELEPHONE CHARGES
United Kingdom—Member of the House of CommonsFree inland telephone charges
United States—Member of the House of RepresentativesSee official expenses allowance
Federal Republic of Germany—Member of the BundestagFree telephone calls from Bonn (worldwide)
France—Deputy in the National AssemblyFree inland calls from Assembly or constituency
Spain—Member of Congress of DeputiesFree telephone calls
Member of European ParliamentSee general expenditure allowance

1 To be reviewed on 31 May along with Bundestag salaries.

2 Provided without charge by the Federal Railway but set to change. It is unclear whether the Bundestag or Members will pay.

3 A Member may allocate up to US $50,000 (£29,530) from the clerk hire allowance to supplement the official expenses allowance and vice versa.

4 Halved in respect of Members who, for no valid reason, have failed to attend at least half the number of plenary sittings.

Note: The sterling figures calculated using rates of exchange at the close of business on 29 May 1990