Security costs for MPs rose by almost a third last year, watchdog says
Security costs for MPs rose by nearly a third last year and could rise further following the fatal stabbing of Sir David Amess, a watchdog has revealed.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) said the amount was £4.4m for the 2020/21 financial year, up from £3.4m in 2019/20.
Overall, MPs’ business costs amounted to almost £138million in 2020/21, the IPSA said.
Personnel and office costs were also up 17% on the previous year, to £105.8m and £15.2m respectively, according to the regulator.
IPSA chairman Richard Lloyd said staff costs were higher as the budget had been increased in view of the surge in constituency caseloads to record highs.
Meanwhile, travel and subsistence costs – which include funding for staff and dependents – have fallen by more than 60%, from £5.6million in 2019/20 to £2.1million pounds sterling in 2020/21.
Mr Lloyd said it reflected ‘different working patterns’.
The IPSA chairman said security costs, which rose 29% last year, “could rise further” after Sir David’s death in October.
The Conservative MP for Southend West was fatally stabbed during surgery in Leigh-on-Sea constituency.
Mr Lloyd added that compliance with IPSA rules remained “very high”, at 99.7%.
‘As an independent regulator overseeing MPs’ spending, we can confirm today that compliance with our rules has remained very high during the Covid pandemic,’ he said.
“By far the largest item of expenditure is the payment of salaries of MPs’ staff. These are people who work long hours to help constituents, often struggling with very difficult issues.
“Over the past fiscal year, Members of Parliament and their staff have changed the way they work to provide service to their constituents during the pandemic. This is reflected in some of the spending details we released today.
“We have allowed MPs’ staff to work from home, while the amount spent on parliamentary business travel has decreased to reflect different work patterns.
“Overall staffing spending has increased as the budget has been increased to better support voters when caseloads hit record highs.”
He added: “Security spending has also increased over the past year and could increase further this year (after Sir David’s death in October). Ensuring the safety of MPs, their families and their staff is absolutely vital to our democracy. »