Former Prime Ministers: Allowances

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 16th July 2012.

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Photo of Pete Wishart Pete Wishart Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Culture and Sport), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Constitution)

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office

(1) how much in public duty costs allowance has been paid to each former Prime Minister in each year since 1991;

(2) whether the Government has any plans to bring the public duty costs allowance within the remit of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority;

(3) what the limit is of the public duty costs allowance for former Prime Ministers; and when that limit was last reviewed;

(4) whether the public duty costs allowance is payable to former Prime Ministers who remain Members of Parliament in addition to their parliamentary allowances;

(5) what rules apply to claims made by former Prime Ministers from the public duty costs allowance;

(6) what audit is undertaken of claims made under the public duty costs allowance by former Prime Ministers; and what checks are made to ensure that claims against the allowance meet the criteria for funding from the allowance;

(7) what guidance is provided to former Prime Ministers on claiming from the public duty costs allowance; and if he will place in the Library a copy of that guidance.

Photo of Francis Maude Francis Maude The Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given on 27 October 2011, Hansard, column 338W, and 6 April 2010, Hansard, column 1172W.

Information for the period April 1991 to March 1997 is no longer held. The current limit, which was last reviewed in 2011, is £115,000. The amounts paid in 2011-12 are as follows:

2011-12
  £
Gordon Brown 114,998.17
Margaret Thatcher 109,191.00
John Major 115,000.00
Tony Blair 115,000.00

The allowance, which is a reimbursement allowance, is paid to meet the costs of continuing to fulfil public duties associated with the role of a former Prime Minister.

Former Prime Ministers are not eligible for the allowance should they hold the office of Leader of the Official Opposition. Claims are processed by the Cabinet Office and form part of the annual audit of Cabinet Office expenditure. There are no plans to transfer responsibility for payment of the allowance to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).

All former Prime Ministers are provided with guidance on the PDCA. A copy of this has been placed in the Library of the House.

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