House of Lords pay rise: Peers to collect £305 a day just for turning up

Posted on Mar 25 2018 - 1:39am by admin

And even if they knock off early, they will still trouser £153 for spending half a day in Parliament.

The House of Lords Commission is recommending that peers should get a 1.8 percent increase in their daily allowance – the same as that being handed to MPs.

If the Lords passes a resolution implementing the recommendation, it would be the first raise in eight years.

Currently Lords can claim £300 for a day, and £150 for a half-day, with the increases likely to come into force next month.

Members get the tax-free allowance instead of a salary, and also receive travel expenses.

However, they are unable to claim for accommodation, staff or subsistence.

The Commission, made up of ten peers and two external members, also said that from now on, changes to Lords allowances should be linked to MPs’ salaries. 

Since 2015, MPs’ pay increased annually in line with average public-sector earnings, as calculated by the Office for National Statistics. 

From next month, the annual salary for MPs will go up to £77,000.

Peers are only eligible for the daily allowance if they attend a sitting of the House or a Westminster committee and undertake parliamentary work.

However, in a three-part BBC documentary screened in 2017, Baroness D’Souza, who stepped down as Lord Speaker last year, said the system was open to abuse.

She said: “There is a core of peers who work incredibly hard, who do that work, and there are, sad to say, many, many, many peers who contribute absolutely nothing but who claim the full allowance.

“So I mean that’s not normal, but it is something that does happen and I think that we have lost the sense of honour that used to pertain, and that is a great, great shame.”

“I can remember one occasion when I was leaving the House quite late and there was a peer – who shall be utterly nameless – who jumped out of a taxi just outside the peers’ entrance, left the engine running. He ran in, presumably to show that he’d attended, and then ran out again while the taxi was still running.”

Officials have suggested that since 2010, the overall cost of the House of Lords has fallen by 7 percent in real terms. 

Last year, the Electoral Reform Society found that peers used their tax-free daily allowance and travel costs to rake in a total of £19million in 2016/17.

It branded 33 of them ‘couch potato peers’ for taking part in less than a quarter of votes while claiming £462,510 in expenses – an average of £14,015 each.

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