Members' Expenditure 2019 - 2020 (April 2019 - March 2020)
Please note that due to Covid-19 the audit of the accounts has been delayed. These accounts have not yet been audited and therefore subject to change.
|Name||Status||Constituency Office Expenses 1||Other Expenses 2||Allowances 3||Staff cost 4||Total Expenditure|
|(View Breakdown)||(View Breakdown)||(View Breakdown)||(View Breakdown)|
|Durkan, Mark H||1||£14,981.34||£600.00||£5,913.96||£44,814.87||£66,310.17|
|Kimmins Elizabeth (Liz)||3||£11.28||£0.00||£1,211.01||£4,049.06||£5,271.35|
|Ni Chuilin, Caral||1||£10,490.47||£600.00||£849.96||£48,969.28||£60,909.71|
|Ó Muilleoir, Máirtín||2||£11,295.93||£2,403.39||£651.18||£45,499.24||£59,849.74|
Member - 1
Resigned - 2
Co-opted - 3
All payments for salaries, expenses and allowances are paid under the authority of the Assembly Members (Salaries and Expenses) Determination (Northern Ireland) 2016 and the following amendments:
- Determination made by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on 12 March 2019, exercising her powers under the Northern Ireland Assembly Members (Pay) Act 2018: Assembly Members (Salaries and Expenses) (Period when there is no Executive) (EU Exit) Determination (Northern Ireland) 2019
- Determination made by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on 30 October 2018, exercising her powers under the Northern Ireland Assembly Members (Pay) Act 2018: Assembly Members (Salaries and Expenses) (Present period when there is no Executive) Determination (Northern Ireland) 2018
- Determination made by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on 28 March 2018, exercising her powers under the Northern Ireland Assembly Members (Pay) Act 2018: Assembly Members (Inflationary increase to salary) (Period when there is no Executive) Determination (Northern Ireland) 2018 (Revoked)
Members expenses continue to be provided for under the legislative framework of the Assembly Members (Salaries and Expenses) Determination 2016, as determined by the Independent Financial Review Panel in March 2016. However, during 2019-20 a number of other provisions were temporarily in place.
The tenure of the first Panel finished in July 2016 and as a consequence of the Commission’s desire to consider a reform of the Panel and the political situation between March 2017 and January 2020, a new Panel has not been appointed.
In the absence of a Panel, during the period when no Executive was in place, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland issued further Determinations under powers conferred on her through the enactment of the Northern Ireland Assembly Members (Pay) Act 2018. Three determinations were issued in 2018 and 2019, amending the provisions of the 2016 Determination in terms of Members’ salaries, expenses and allowances. However, on appointment of the Executive on 11 January 2020 these determinations ceased to have effect and all provisions of the 2016 Determination were fully restored. Under these Determinations there was a number of amendments, including a reduction in Members’ salaries, a restriction on the appointment of permanent staff, restriction on the recovery of rent without a pre-defined break clause being included, and an amendment to the calculation of travel allowances. Substantively all of the provisions relating to the recovery of expenses however, remained unchanged.
The recovery of expenses can only be sought for costs that have been actually incurred by a Member in connection with exercising their functions as a Member. Members do not have an automatic entitlement to expenses, by virtue of their membership of the Assembly. The 2016 Determination limits the recovery of expenses to one constituency office only and prevents the payment of expenses to a connected person.
1 Constituency Office Expenses (COE) 2019 – 2020
As its name suggests, COE is generally used to allow a Member to provide a service to constituents through a constituency office. Items that can be claimed from COE include office rent and rates, office utilities (including heating and lighting and telephones), office cleaning, office equipment, office furniture and office consumables (excluding the cost of photocopiers, fax machines cameras, televisions, radios and computer equipment), office signage and insurance. COE cannot be claimed without valid proof of the actual expenses incurred.
The amount of COE available is £4,900per annum (pro rata) for Operating costs, £8,500 per annum (pro rata) for rent and £2,000 per mandate for Establishment Expenditure (which also includes costs of refurbishment of existing offices). These are maximum amounts which must not be exceeded. Rates may also be claimed; however, payments are capped at 40% of rent expenses recovered in any one year.
The tax date of an invoice determines the financial year in which the expense may be claimed, irrespective of period covered by the invoice.
In the detailed analysis of COE, it should be noted that where a Member’s name is given as the “Supplier” the payment was made as a reimbursement to the Member for admissible expenditure incurred. If a Member shares an office with another Member all costs must be split equally and the Member may only recover expenses which relate to that Member. However, one Member may pay the whole invoice and receive the reimbursement and the cost will be spilt when the claim is processed, therefore recording the name of one Member as a supplier in the record of another Member.
Members are permitted to use COE to purchase pre-paid envelopes, stationery, envelopes, toners, general office supplies, small office equipment etc. for use in their constituency offices and where these items have been purchased from the central Assembly Office Resources department the supplier will be “NI Assembly”.
Sundry expenditure of up to £100 per month may be claimed. The Determination does not require Members to maintain a record of these payments. The Member may provide receipts, in which case reimbursement is made directly to the Member or to a member of support staff, where the support staff has incurred the expenditure on behalf of the Member. If the Member does not provide a receipt, the reimbursement will be processed through payroll and the usual deductions for tax and national insurance are made. Payments through payroll are be recorded as ‘Taxable Sundry Expenses’. In general, sundry constituency office operating expenses are those assorted, miscellaneous, small, varied or infrequent operating costs incurred in running an office. In all cases, the Member will sign a declaration stating that the expenditure has been occurred in accordance with the requirements of the Determination.
2 Other Expenses
Other Expenses: This includes mobile phones, recall expenditure and disability allowance.
Winding Up Expenditure (WUE)
This is paid to a former Member to allow him or her to bring their Assembly business to an orderly close. It includes office costs, rent and rates. It is capped at £4,500 for the three-month period following a Member’s departure from the Assembly. The expenditure has not been recovered from any other person, nor has the former Member been reimbursed in relation to the expense by any other person.
From time to time a programme of assurance reviews will be carried out on expenditure incurred by Members across a number of categories. Where any expense is found to be inadmissible under the terms of the Determination, recoupment will be sought from the Member and will be published under the description “Recovery of Inadmissible Expenses”
Two types of allowances are paid, (1) Annual Constituency Travel Allowance and (2) Annual Assembly Travel Allowance. The amounts payable depends on the constituency represented by the Member. The travel allowances are taxable and paid to the Member through payroll. Some Members may choose to defer receiving the monthly allowance of Annual Assembly travel, preferring to receive a payment based on their declared attendance at Parliament buildings at the end of the financial year. Travel for other reasons e.g. committee work may be incurred and payment is based on a calculation of excess mileage. Such payments are not included in these allowances but are instead borne by the Assembly Commission.
Assembly Travel Allowance is payable for attendance at Parliament Buildings and Members have to attend 72 days or more to receive the full amount. However, during the period between 1 November 2018 and 10 January 2020, Members were required to attend a minimum of 100 days to receive the full allowance.
Where a Member owns the constituency office, an allowance of £2,000 may be claimed. In these circumstances, COE (see above) may not be claimed. In order to claim this allowance all other criteria relating to signage etc must be met.
Resettlement allowance is paid to Members, who resign at the dissolution of the NI Assembly or are not returned following an election, once their office has been wound up. Ill health payment is made to Members who resign on the grounds of ill-health. They do not receive resettlement allowance. Other Members who resign during the mandate do not receive either allowance.
4 Staffing Costs
Staffing costs are divided into three categories:
Category 1 - staff salaries (pay, statutory SSP/SMP), costs of replacement staff covering long-term sick absence;
Category 2 - other staff costs (recruitment, training and payroll administration costs), and
Category 3 - ancillary costs (ERNIC, pension contributions, statutory redundancy payments), costs of replacement staff covering maternity, paternity, parental or adoptive leave absences.
Category 1 and 2 costs combined are limited to £50,000 per year (pro rata). Within this limit, recruitment costs are restricted to £500 per recruitment exercise and training to £500 per annum. Staff costs continue to be paid for the three months’ winding up period.
Category 3 costs are unlimited.