Communications to constituents is ordinarily charged by hon. Members to their parliamentary allowances. Members can spend any amount on such items up to the relevant annual limit, provided the expenditure conforms to the rules and guidance published by the Department of Finance and Administration in the Green Book.
In 1996-97 the then office costs allowance (OCA) was set at £47,568, while the 2006-07 incidental expenses provision (IEP) is £20,440. The OCA also covered staffing costs as well as general office costs, whereas in 2006-07 there is a separate staffing allowance in addition to the IEP.