A NICE LIT­TLE ERMINE

455 peers get more in ex­penses than av­er­age Brit’s an­nual salary

Daily Record - - NEWS - AN­DREW GRE­GORY re­porters@dai­lyrecord.co.uk

HUN­DREDS of peers claimed more in ex­penses at the House of Lords last year than the av­er­age worker’s pay.

De­spite the House sit­ting just 141 days over the year, 455 mem­bers claimed more than £22,226 tax-free for turn­ing up and, in some cases, do­ing lit­tle or noth­ing else.

Three of the five big­gest claimants are Scots peers – Labour’s Lord Kirkhill and Baroness Adams, with £43,896 and £41,287 re­spec­tively, and the Lib Dems’ Vis­count Thurso with £32,235.

The SNP have no rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the Lords be­cause they ob­ject to an un­elected up­per house.

Tax­pay­ers were landed with a £19mil­lion bill for peers’ £300-a-day al­lowance plus travel costs in 2016-17, a re­port from the Elec­toral Re­form So­ci­ety found. It in­cluded £1.3mil­lion re­vealed ear­lier this year to have been claimed by 115 lords who did not speak once in the up­per cham­ber.

The Lord Speaker’s Com­mit­tee have sug­gested cut­ting num­bers to 600 by 2028.

But 88 per cent of the pub­lic be­lieve the cuts should go fur­ther than that, an ERS poll found.

There is no sug­ges­tion any of the peers broke rules or the law.

They are not re­quired to speak to claim their £300 al­lowance.

A House of Lords spokesman said: “It is rea­son­able peers can claim al­lowances to cover the costs they in­cur when they con­trib­ute to the work of Par­lia­ment.

“They are ex­pected to pay for any costs as­so­ci­ated with at­tend­ing the House.”

BLOATED The House of Lords has 800 mem­bers in the cham­ber. Pic­ture: Getty

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