Silence is golden for part time peers


An analysis of the latest House of Lords accounts has revealed that silence is golden for hundreds of peers who claim allowances while making no parliamentary contribution.

The latest published claims, covering March, show that 213 peers claimed £702,646 in attendance and travel allowances – an average of

£3,300 each – without making a single chamber contribution or even tabling a written question. The total taxpayer bill for peers claims over the 17 days that the Lords sat in March totalled £2,488,586.

With the UK Government having abandoned plans to reform the House of Lords, SNP MP Pete Wishart said it was clear that the constitutional change best for Scotland was to stop this unreformable and undemocratic chamber having any say in the decisions which affect Scotland.

Mr Wishart said:

“These allowance claims show that silence is golden for members of the House of Lords – it is the opposite of performance-related pay.

“With the UK Government destabilised by the latest coalition shambles and abandoning plans to reform the Lords, it is clear that a yes vote for independence is the best way to ensure a modern democracy for Scotland.

“Scotland already has a modern, democratically representative Parliament at Holyrood, and it is there that all decisions which affect people in Scotland should be rightfully scrutinised.

“For parliament to carry out its purpose, it must act with democratic authority and integrity. The present House of Lords lacks legitimacy because of its anachronistic and unrepresentative composition – yet 800 unelected peers still preside over policy impacting on Scotland.

“It becomes clearer every day that the constitutional change that is best for Scotland is to stop this discredited, undemocratic chamber having any say in the decisions which affect Scotland – and that will be done by voting yes in the independence referendum in 2014.”