21 May 2009

House of Lords expenses

Readers of earlier posts on the House of Lords will know that I’d been hoping that the story about alleged dodgy dealings by some peers might revive the debate about the absurdly undemocratic way in which members of our second chamber are selected.

As it hasn’t done so, maybe the furore about parliamentary ‘expenses’ will redirect attention along the corridor to the House of Cronies again, as the way ‘expenses’ are dished out there seems to be no less virtuous than it is in the House of Commons

The only plus side of the apparently lenient six-month suspension just handed out to Lords Truscott and Taylor is that it will at least save the taxpayer about £50,000 (as their combined allowances claim for last year came to over £100,000).

But there are still plenty of other noble noses in the trough, with questions already being asked about where the likes of Lord’s Lawson, Razzall and Rennard really do have their first and second homes. Meanwhile, I’ve just checked on the claims made by various other Lords I’ve heard of and was amazed to discover that their tax-free ‘allowances’ ranged from £25,000 to £60,000+ a year.

As I don’t have access to the manpower that the Daily Telegraph has been able to devote to exposing MP’s expenses, I now invite readers to do some research into Lords’ expenses for themselves – and, if they feel so inclined, to report back with any interesting findings.

It’s easy enough to check on who’s been claiming what because the full list for the year ending March 2008 is published and can be inspected HERE.

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