The huge Upper house has now surpassed 800 members after the latest announcement of 36 new Peers. Following analysis, the ERS estimate each Peer will cost the UK taxpayer £30,000. And, based on the average expenses claims from the 2019/20 financial year, the ERS has claimed the new cohort of 36 members will increase the overall amount to the taxpayer to £1.1million a year.
For signing into the chamber, Peers also receive a payment of £323 a day tax-free.
In contrast, those in human health or social work activities earnt on average £26,864 in 2019 according to the ONS’ figures released in March this year.
Commenting on the new data, a spokesperson for ERS told Express.co.uk: “Voters will not be pleased with yet more unelected Peers making their way in to claim expenses.
“The current system is ripe for exploitation, with Peers having to do little more than sign in to claim their tax-free allowance.
“The fact that voters cannot hold them to account at the ballot box is a recipe for wanton disregard for taxpayers.
“While many Lords do work hard, voters might feel less aggrieved about paying them if they actually had a say on who sat in the chamber.
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“This is an expenses-scandal in the making, and the system is crying out for reform.
“A far learner, proportionally-elected senate of the nations and regions will help restore faith in democracy.
“At the moment, the loophole-ridden, scrutiny-free expenses set-up just allows distrust to sink deeper into our democracy.”
Due to the sheer size of the chamber, almost 400,000 people have signed up to the group’s petition to replace the house.
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Of the over 800 members, none has a single primary working background in manual or skilled trade.
Just two percent have a primary working background in medical or healthcare.
Among the new batch of Peerages, nominated by Boris Johnson, was his former chief strategic adviser Sir Edward Udny-Lister.
The former head of the Scottish Tory Party, Ruth Davidson and the owner of The Evening Standard and The Independent, Evgeny Lebedev were both also awarded Peerages.
Despite the criticism headed towards some of the nominations, a No 10 spokesman insisted Downing Street remains committed to restructuring the house.
They also stated Peerages were passed onto to those who contribute to society.
They said: “It remains the case that the size of the house of Lords needs addressing, but given retirements and other departures, some new members are needed to ensure the Lords has the appropriate expertise and it continues to fulfil its role in scrutinising and revising legislation.
“All of the individuals were nominated in recognition of their contribution to society and their public and political service.
“Peers are appointed to further contribute to public service in parliament.”
“In the 2019/20 financial year members of the Lords considered 779 amendments to legislation and asked the Government 6,482 written questions.
“This is the important process of improving legislation and holding the government to account in action.
“In the same period Lords committees held 499 meetings and produced 123 reports, many of which were high profile and influenced Government policy and the public debate around crucial issues such as social care, regeneration and HS2.”
“That is a massive policy u-turn. It was only two years ago that the then Prime Minister, Mrs May, pledged herself to a policy of “restraint” in the number of new appointments.
“It was the first time that any Prime Minister had made such a pledge.”
Source Daily Express :: UK Feed