Payment of Members

4.10A salary was first paid to Members in their role as Members in 1911.1

The payment to Members was held to be salary or income within the meaning of the Bankruptcy Acts.2 An income payments order under the Insolvency Act 19863 may be made, requiring the whole or part of it to be paid to the trustee of the bankrupt's estate either directly or by the bankrupt.

A Member of Parliament is classified as an office-holder and therefore also as an ‘employed earner’, for the purpose of the Social Security Acts.4

Salaries are now paid and their level set by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), established under the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009.5 IPSA may also pay higher salaries for Members holding an office or position specified for that purpose in a resolution of the House. It is required to review the existing determination at the beginning of every Parliament and at any other time it considers appropriate. In 2013, IPSA determined that the salary of a Member would increase to £74,000 in 2015, and in 2015 it determined that subsequent annual increases should be in line with changes in public sector average earnings. In 2016, following the first automatic uprating, a Member's salary rose to £74,962. As of 1 April 2018, it was £77,379.


  1. 1. From the thirteenth century, constituencies were liable for the maintenance of their Members during the time of Parliament (William Prynn Fourth Part of a Brief register of Writs (1664) pp 53, 495; and Edward Coke Fourth Part of the Institutes of the Laws of England (1797), p 46). The liability was referred to in the Laws in Wales Act 1535 (27 Hen 8, c 26), which established constituencies in Wales, but by the beginning of the seventeenth century it had ceased to be regarded, except in a few isolated cases. A nineteenth century movement for the payment of Members out of public funds culminated in a resolution of the Commons in 1895 in favour of the payment of a reasonable allowance to Members (Parl Deb (18 February 1830) 22, c 689; CJ (1839) 339; ibid (1888) 348; ibid (1892) 135; ibid (1893–94) 160; and ibid (1895) 108). For the decision of 1911, see ibid (1911) 400, 406.
  2. 2. Hollinshead v Hazelton [1916] 1 AC 428. (See also para 11.8, fn 1.) For the position of a Member of Parliament in respect of failure to pay local taxes, see HC Deb (1989–90) 159, c 642W.
  3. 3. 1986, c 45, s 310.
  4. 4. Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, c 4, s 2(1)(a).
  5. 5. For an account of the arrangements before IPSA took on responsibility, see Erskine May (24th edn, 2011), pp 52–56.