Time to rein in the Lords who live like kings

editorial image
Share this article
Have your say

Listen to this: an allowance of £300 a day of public money and, if you are so minded, doing nothing in return for it.

Surely this is a case for the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith to move in and crack down on what some would consider as part of the despised “something for nothing” welfare culture.

Yet , this is the amount Members of the House of Lords are entitled to - for just turning up when the House is sitting. You don’t have to make a speech or do any work to qualify for it. Once your presence has been “clocked”, you are free to go. Even so, there are already some moans that it is not adequate. Baroness Grender, a Liberal Democrat life peeress, says lack of funding prevents diversity not just among MPs but peers as well. Lady Grender - who used to be a Lib Dem press officer when she was plain Olly Grender - says: “What you don’t get is a hairdresser or a bus driver. And why don’t you get these people? Because it is unaffordable for most people to do this kind of thing unless you are relying on a partner.”

So what is being asked is that the taxpayer should fork out yet more of his hard-earned cash to supplement our growing army of well-heeled politicians.

Why should we pay any more? Why can’t Members of the House of Lords (and it is not compulsory to go there) get a job outside to supplement their income if they feel they need to? After all, it is surely beneficial to everyone that politicians should emerge from the hothouse atmosphere of Parliament from time to time, to see how the other half works.

And just think of the thousands of people who would be only too happy to receive £300 a day for doing no work, if they are so minded.

Duncan Smith has the right idea: He says he does not regard his ministerial duties as a job, but a vocation. A pity more politicians do not take the same view.

There is now a belated move to stand up to those ludicrous foreign judges who try to order us, for instance, to allow prisoners the vote and who prevent us from deporting overseas murderers, rapists and other violent criminals once they have completed their sentences.

It has been a source of rage for years that these so-called judges have ruled the roost. There should be widespread rejoicing over this. I simply hope it comes to fruition and is not, like so many other “promises”, kicked into the long grass.