Question to the Cabinet Office:
To ask His Majesty's Government when the next review of the Public Duty Costs Allowance will take place; who will be consulted; what plans they have for recipients to be required to declare their claims upon the fund in a similar fashion to MPs; and whether the review will examine how the use of the allowance for public duties can be distinguished from costs incurred in (1) making fee paying speeches or (2) publishing books.
The Public Duty Costs Allowance was introduced to assist former Prime Ministers who are still active in public life. It has operated under successive administrations, including the last Labour Government and the Coalition Government. Exceptionally, a total of £444,775 was paid to the former Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister, Sir Nick Clegg, before he became a senior executive at Facebook.
The allowance is reviewed annually by the Government. The allowance has an annual limit of £115,000, which has remained frozen since 2011. The amount received by each claimant is published annually in the Cabinet Office Annual Report and Accounts.
It is not a form of salary; payments are made only to reimburse actual administrative costs incurred in the fulfilment of public duties. Generally, these costs can include managing an office (staffing, payroll and administration); handling correspondence as a former Prime Minister; and support with visits and similar activities. Invoices are submitted to the Cabinet Office to cover relevant costs. In this light, no review of the matters of (1) or (2) is required.