Public Duty Costs Allowance

Cabinet Office written question – answered at on 25 October 2023.

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Photo of Lord Rennard Lord Rennard Liberal Democrat

To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Answer by Baroness Neville-Rolfe on 21 November 2022 (HL Deb, col 1170), whether they update the House on claims made as a result of the Public Duty Costs Allowance (PDCA); when and how a review of the PDCA will take place; and how the National Audit Office is able to distinguish between the costs of paying staff, travel, and accommodation expenses etc. occurring as a result of them working on commercial projects such as memoirs, paid speaking engagements etc. and costs which arise wholly and exclusively as a result of being an ex-Prime Minister.

Photo of Baroness Neville-Rolfe Baroness Neville-Rolfe Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

The Public Duty Cost Allowance is specifically reviewed by the National Audit Office (NAO) as part of its annual audit of the Cabinet Office. The 2022-23 NAO audit review was completed in October 2023. The 2023-24 audit review will commence in May 2024.

The offices of the former Prime Ministers receive guidance which stipulates what type of expenses can be reimbursed by the Allowance. Claims, including those for office staff time, are then received by Cabinet Office Finance and include supporting evidence showing how much is related to the Allowance and how much is not.

I would note that the same audit provisions applied when former Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, claimed the Allowance.

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