Lording it up! Peers claim £15m in expenses in a year, fuelling calls for the second chamber to be replaced
Peers claimed almost £15million in allowances and expenses over the last year, figures reveal.
Members of the House of Lords pocketed £13.2million for their daily allowances between August 2020 and July 2021, research by the House of Commons Library found.
A further £1.7million was claimed in expenses – despite Covid restrictions meaning many proceedings were carried out remotely.
Members of the House of Lords the chamber during the State Opening of Parliament by the Queen in December 2019
Unlike MPs, peers are not paid salaries but they can claim a £323 allowance for in-person attendance or £162 for remotely joining the Lords.
Analysis by the SNP found that 22,140 speeches were made in the time period – equating to an average claim of £674 per contribution in expenses and allowances.
SNP MP Pete Wishart claimed the ‘ludicrous sums’ were more evidence why the 780-seat second chamber should be replaced with an elected upper house.
SNP MP Pete Wishart (pictured) said the sums were more evidence why the House of Lords should be replaced with an elected upper house
A House of Lords spokesman said the figures represented a decrease in the total amount claimed on the previous year due to changes in ‘work practices’ during the pandemic.
The spokesman said: ‘The House of Lords is a busy and effective revising Chamber and it is entirely appropriate that Members from every part of the UK can contribute to its work and be supported to cover the costs of doing so.’
A recent poll of 2,207 UK adults found that only 9 per cent were in favour of an entirely appointed House of Lords.
Instead the Savanta ComRes survey, carried out in November, found that that 22 per cent of people across the UK favoured abolishing the Lords while 30 per cent thought the second chamber should be entirely elected.