Members' Expenditure 2022 - 2023
Expenses from April 2022 to December 2022
|Name||Key||Constituency Office Expenses 1|
|Other Expenses 2|
|Staff cost 4|
|Little Pengelly, Mary||3||£5,286.42||£0.00||£1,090.85||£47,094.35||£53,471.62|
|Ni Chuilin, Caral||1||£9,918.38||£0.00||£563.42||£67,562.62||£78,044.42|
1 - Member
2 - Resigned/Not Returned
3 - Co-opted/Elected
4 - Former Member
5 - Did not stand for reelection
Members’ expenses are provided under the legislative framework of the Assembly Members (Salaries and Expenses) Determination (Northern Ireland) 2016, as amended by the Assembly Members (Salaries and Expenses) (Amendment) Determination 2020, which was effective from the 27 August 2020.
While the 2020 Determination made a number of significant changes, the key criteria of the 2016 Determination remain unchanged. The purpose of the 2016Determination is to ensure that Members do not suffer a financial detriment because of expenses or staff costs, which have been incurred in connection with exercising their Assembly functions. A Member is entitled to recover an expense only if the Member has actually incurred it, it has been incurred in connection with exercising their functions and it has not been recovered from any other person, nor has any other person reimbursed the Member in relation to the expense.
Members do not have an automatic entitlement to expenses, allowances or recovery of staff costs, by virtue of their membership of the Assembly, rather there are a number of admissibility tests which must be fulfilled before payments are made.
1 Constituency Office Expenses (COE) 2022 – 2023
As its name suggests, the COE allowance is generally used by Members to provide a service to constituents through running a constituency office. Those items that can be claimed under this classification of expenditure generally include, but are not limited to, office rent and rates, and constituency office operating expenses such as utilities (heating, lighting, telephones and mobile phone), cleaning, equipment purchase or maintenance, furniture, signage and insurance. COE is not be paid without valid proof of the actual expense incurred.
The maximum COE (pro rata for Members serving less than a year) available is £8,500 per annum for rent, £7,000 per annum for Constituency Office Operating Expenses (COOE), and £4,000 per mandate for Constituency Office Establishment Expenses. This latter classification of expenditure includes the costs of establishing an office, or refurbishing and maintaining an existing office and/or equipment. Generally, Rates may be recovered in full. If under the terms of the lease, the total annual rent due is greater than the amount of rent recoverable under the Determination, however, a limit is applied.
The tax date of an invoice determines the financial year in which the expense may be claimed, irrespective of the 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. 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 them. However, one Member may pay the whole invoice and receive the reimbursement. In such circumstances the total of the invoice 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 COOE to purchase pre-paid envelopes, stationery, envelopes, toners, general office supplies, and small items of office equipment etc. for use in their constituency offices. Where these items have been purchased from the central Assembly Commission’s Office Resources department the supplier will be shown as “NI Assembly”.
Members may choose to operate a petty cash system for small purchases that are less than £5, however all purchases must be verified by the submission of valid receipts. This expenditure is recorded under ‘Sundry Expenses’.
2 Other Expenses
Other expenses include 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. It is not an automatic entitlement and must be claimed.
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 annual allowances are paid:
(1) Constituency Travel Allowance (CTA); and
(2) Assembly Travel Allowance (ATA).
CTA is payable for travel within the Member’s constituency.
ATA is payable for travel from the Member’s constituency to the Assembly, and a Member is only entitled to the full allowance if they attend the Assembly for 72 or more working days a year.
The amount payable depends on which constituency the Member represents. The travel allowances are taxable and paid to the Member monthly through payroll. Some Members may choose to defer receiving the monthly ATA payments, preferring to receive a payment based on their declared attendance at the Assembly 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.
Allowance were own property is used as constituency office
Where a Member’s own property is used as a 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 and Ill-Health Retirement Allowances
Resettlement Allowance is payable to Members, who resign at dissolution of the Assembly, or, are not returned following the subsequent election. It is only payable when a number of conditions are met, the constituency office is closed and all Assembly business is complete. Should Members resign at any other time during the course of a mandate, they are not entitled to a Resettlement Allowance payment. Ill Health Retirement Allowance is payable to Members who resign on the grounds of their ill health during a mandate. The payment of this allowance is not an automatic entitlement, Members have to apply for this and a number of very specific criteria have to be fulfilled.
4 Staffing Costs
Staffing costs are divided into four categories:
Category 1 - staff salaries (including contractual and statutory maternity, paternity, and adoption pay; statutory shared parental pay; contractual and statutory sick pay; payments made to a temporary work agency in respect of the salary of an agency worker; and staff costs associated with home working arrangements);
Category 2 - other capped staff costs (including training, recruitment and support staff travel costs);
Category 3 - ancillary staff costs (including employers’ contributions to national insurance, pension contributions, statutory redundancy payments, temporary work agency fees and charges associated with the engagement of agency workers via a temporary work agency, and employer’s liability insurance); and
Category 4 - replacement staff costs (including those costs incurred in temporarily employing a person to replace an employee where the employee is absence for a continuous period of at least four weeks by reason of: illness, maternity leave, paternity leave or adoption leave).
Category 1 costs are limited to £84,048 per year (pro rata for Members serving less than a year). Staff must be employed on one of the three defined pay scales, and be engaged on the specified terms and conditions outlined in the Schedule to the 2016 Determination (as amended). Staff must be employed on merit following a fair and open recruitment competition.
Category 2 costs are capped. A maximum of £1,500 may be claimed each year for training costs and a limit of £500 per recruitment competition applies. Support staff travel costs are capped depending on which constituency the Member represents.
Category 3 costs are not capped.
Category 4 costs are not capped; however, they may only continue to be claimed as long as the employee who is absent continues to be paid the appropriate recoverable salary.