MPs can’t claim £50 for breakfast

27 March 2024
What was claimed

Members of Parliament can claim £50 for a breakfast.

Our verdict

Incorrect. MPs can only claim for food if they spend a night away from their constituency or London as part of their work as an MP, and this is limited to £25 per night.

Several recent posts on Facebook have repeated a claim that members of Parliament “can claim £50 for a breakfast”. 

However, as we’ve explained before, this is incorrect. MPs are able to claim some money for food if they spend a night away from their constituency or London for parliamentary business, but this is limited to £25 per night away

One Facebook post seems to be a screenshot of a post on X (formerly Twitter) that says: “Not one family in Britain should have to use a food bank when a mp can claim £50 for a breakfast.” [sic]

MPs can claim expenses related to their work as an MP, such as office or staffing costs.

How much MPs are allowed to claim, and what they can claim for, is determined by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), which is an independent body that regulates business costs for MPs and determines pay and pensions for them and their staff. 

Under these rules, MPs can only claim expenses for subsistence (food and non-alcoholic drinks) if they stay overnight at a location that is neither their constituency nor London, and only if they have travelled for parliamentary business and provide evidence of the costs incurred

The amount MPs can claim for food and non-alcoholic drinks is £25 per night spent away. This could be spent on breakfast, but is less than the £50 referred to in the posts. 

If an MP needs to spend a night in a hotel for parliamentary business, they can, in some circumstances, claim the cost. They can claim up to a maximum of £210 per night in London or Europe, or £150 if they’re spending a night in the UK outside London. This could include the cost of breakfast, if breakfast is included in the price of the hotel. 

Full Fact has written about misleading claims and misconceptions about MPs’ expenses and pay before. We often see these types of claims spread widely online. False or misleading claims about politicians and the political process have the potential to affect people’s opinions of individuals, parties or how they choose to vote.

Image courtesy of stevepb.

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