There is no upper limit for how much MPs can claim to cover heating costs

14 April 2022
What was claimed

MPs can claim up to £3,400 towards their heating costs.

Our verdict

There is no upper limit on how much MPs can claim for utilities bills.

What was claimed

MPs can claim their petrol and diesel costs on their expenses.

Our verdict

MPs can claim 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles and 25p per mile thereafter for certain journeys taken by private car.

What was claimed

MPs just got a £2,000 pay rise so now get paid £86,000 a year.

Our verdict

MPs did get a £2,212 pay rise, but that means they now get paid £84,144.

A post on Facebook makes the following claim: “In case people aren’t aware, MP’s [sic] can claim up to £3,400 towards their heating costs. They can also claim their petrol/diesel on their expenses. They just got a £2,000 pay rise which now pays them £86,000 per year.”

MPs can claim for utility bills

MPs can claim their utility bills, including gas, electricity, other fuel and water bills, on expenses at a single property, either in London or their constituency. This is only available to those who aren’t MPs in London, or don’t occupy ‘grace and favour’ accommodation in London, for example 1 Carlton Gardens, which is the official residence available to the foreign secretary. 

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) confirmed to Full Fact that there is no upper limit on how much MPs can claim back on heating and fuel costs. There are upper limits on some other things they can claim on expenses like rent, hotel costs, and staff salaries.

This claim appears to have stemmed from an article in the Daily Mail from January, which looked at how much MPs had claimed for utilities in 2020/21, and found Danny Kruger MP for Devizes had claimed £3,598.24 on utilities that year. A spokesperson for the MP told the paper he had challenged his provider on costs but couldn’t get the bill reduced, and had since moved.

MPs can claim back for petrol costs

MPs can only claim costs for certain types of travel, like journeys within their constituency, certain UK travel and journeys within Europe. They can claim for costs between London and their constituency, but not commuting between their constituency office and residence, or from Westminster to their London residence. 

If they do these journeys by private car, they can claim 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles and 25p/mile thereafter. For motorbikes it’s 24p per mile and bicycles it’s 20p per mile.

MPs did just get a pay rise

The post is correct to say that MPs got a £2,000 pay rise, but wrong on how much they now get paid.

IPSA announced in March 2022 that MPs would be paid £84,144 (not £86,000 as the post claims) from April 2022, up from £81,932. They did not get a pay rise in 2021

Image courtesy of Erik Mclean via Unsplash

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as missing context because there are no upper limits on utility bill claims and while MP salaries have gone up by £2,000, they’re not at the level claimed.

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