Elected peers to have pay slashed to '£300 a day'

 

Members of the reformed House of Lords will not be able to earn more than about £45,000 a year, it was reported today.

The figure, which emerged amid criticism of the potential costs of the new majority-elected chamber, is significantly less than originally suggested by the Government.

According to the BBC, future members of the Lords would be paid no more than £300 a day and only then when they attend.

With the Lords sitting around 150 days a year, its members would earn up to about £45,000 before tax.

The House of Lords Reform Bill, containing details of the Government's plans, is expected to be published on Wednesday. It is likely to include proposals for an 80% elected chamber.

The £300-a-day figure is the same as the current tax-free daily allowance available to peers on days that they attend the Lords, but it is lower than previous proposals for salaries in the revised chamber.

In the Draft House of Lords Reform Bill, the Government said the pay should be lower than an MP's salary - currently £65,700 - but higher than that of members of the devolved assemblies, who earn £57,500.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority would set the exact figure, it suggested.

Members of the reformed Lords will also be entitled to expenses and pensions and critics of the plans have raised concerns that the overall costs will be much higher than under the existing set-up.

Labour peer Lord Lipsey claims the figure could be as much as £484 million over five years, including the costs of a referendum, elections and the new salaries.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who is championing the reforms, last week dismissed that figure as "nonsense".

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "We are not going to go into details of the Bill ahead of publication.

"However, we have been clear that there is no reason for Lords reform to increase significantly the cost of running Parliament and we are looking for every opportunity to keep costs to a minimum."

PA

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