There are strict rules on the use of House stationery, postage-paid envelopes and the Crowned Portcullis, and you should familiarise yourself with them as any allegations of breaches of the rules may be investigated by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and could result in the Member having to repay the cost of the stationery.
Members may make use of a cash-limited provision of House stationery and postage-paid envelopes, up to a value of £9,000 per year per Member, which includes the cost of the stationery and any associated postage. This provision is in addition to any stationery and postage costs which Members may have reimbursed under IPSA’s Business Costs Scheme.
House stationery and pre-paid postage may only be used in connection with the Member’s Parliamentary functions.
They may not be used:
- in connection with work for or at the behest of a political party (including fund-raising for a political party, advocating membership of a political party or supporting the return of any person to public office);
- for business purposes;
- for newsletters (including annual reports or general updates to constituents on a range of issues);
- for birthday or other greetings cards;
- in a way that can be construed as campaign expenditure within the scope of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.
The list above is not exhaustive and the full list of rules may be found here: Rules for the use of stationery and postage-paid envelopes provided by the House of Commons, and for the use of the Crowned Portcullis
Royal Mail Transition to Barcoded Stamps – 2022/2023
The Royal Mail is bringing in a new style of postage stamp which will feature a barcode. You can read about it here: https://www.royalmail.com/sending/barcoded-stamps
The current style of stamps, which do not feature a barcode, will be phased out gradually, and will cease to be valid on 31 January 2023. You will be able to ‘swap out’ your old stamps for new ones from 31 March 2022. Information on how to do this is on the above website.
The pre-paid envelopes used by MPs’ offices will not be affected and can continue to be used after 31 January 2023 and are not part of the swap out scheme.