Cameron creates 117 new peers at a cost of £18m

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Indy Politics

David Cameron has broken his manifesto promise to cut the cost of politics by creating an unprecedented number of peerages, Labour claimed last night.

New figures show that the taxpayer will have to foot the £6m-plus balance from the creation of 117 new peers by the Prime Minister since the election.

In the Conservative manifesto last year, Mr Cameron promised to slash the number of MPs from 650 to 600, saving £12m a year.

But the cost of swelling ranks in the House of Lords – at £156,000 per member – was £18.25m, more than £6m more.

A report last week claimed that Mr Cameron's decision to elevate 117 people to the Lords, more than any other PM in his first year, had led to a cramped upper chamber, with 792 peers.

No 10 indicated he will continue to create peerages to redress the balance in the Lords, where Labour is the main party.

Individual peers do not earn a salary but they receive a tax-free attendance allowance of up to £300 per day. A recent parliamentary answer revealed that the annual cost per member was £156,000, once the total bill of running the Lords was taken into account.

Thomas Docherty, Labour MP for Dunfermline and West Fife, said last night: "David Cameron said he wanted to cut the cost of politics, but by creating a record number of peers he's the one making the cost of politics go up.

"It's typical of a Prime Minister who says whatever he thinks people want to hear, but is happy to break promise after promise. This is a decision made to benefit the Tories, and the taxpayer has to foot the bill."