Peers who don’t vote but claim £100,000 in expenses: 62 members did not vote throughout whole five-year Parliament
- Sixty two members of the House of Lords did not vote in last five years
- They still managed to take home a total of £360,000 in taxpayers’ money
- Prime Minister’s plan to appoint another 50 peers could cost £1.3m a year
- Peers can claim £300 tax-free for every sitting day they attend the House
Peers who did not vote in a single debate last year claimed more than £100,000 in expenses allowances, a damning study has found.
During the whole of the last five-year Parliament, 62 members of the House of Lords never voted and yet took home a total of £360,000 of taxpayers’ money.
David Cameron’s expected plan to appoint another 50 peers this summer could cost the taxpayer at least another £1.3m a year, according to the report by the Electoral Reform Society.
During the whole of the last five-year Parliament, 62 members of the House of Lords never voted and yet took home a total of £360,000 of taxpayers’ money
The society which campaigns for reform of the House of Lords, warned that the upper chamber was ‘growing out of control’ and was ‘shockingly out of date and unrepresentative’.
Peers can claim £300 tax-free for every sitting day they attend the House, as well as limited travel expenses. But some appear to stay for just a short period, without attending any votes.
There are increasing calls across the political spectrum to reform the House of Lords which has 786 members and at the current rate could reach more than 1,000 by the end of this Parliament.
Several long-serving Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs are expected to get peerages in the Dissolution Honours list, alongside Tory advisers and donors rewarded by Mr Cameron.
David Cameron’s expected plan to appoint another 50 peers this summer could cost the taxpayer at least another £1.3m a year
The report aims to ‘bust the myths’ offered by opponents of House of Lords reform, and the researchers found that more than a third of peers (34pc) are former professional politicians, and 54pc are aged over 70.
Some 44pc have their main home in London and the South East, and in the last session, the crossbench peers – who are not members of a political party and supposed offer independent expertise – attended fewer votes than those from political parties.
The Prime Minister is set to bring in dozens more Tory peers over the coming years, as the Conservatives are outnumbered there by Labour and the Lib Dems who can defeat their legislation.
But Mr Cameron is facing calls, even in his own party, to reform the Lords, as critics say it has become too big and does not offer value for money.
Darren Hughes, deputy chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said the research showed the House of Lords was ‘growing out of control, with the government set on appointing hundreds more peers at a cost of millions’.
He said: ‘We have shown that far from being a bastion of independence, non-partisan crossbench peers turn up far less frequently than party-political peers.
On top of that, we have found that over a third of lords previously worked in politics, compared with less than 1pc of the British public.
This is not a chamber of experts, it’s a chamber of professional politicians.’
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