Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Lords Tax-Free Joy - Another Astonishing Perk for Unelected Chamber

2016 Must be the Year House of Lords is Closed Down for Good

It has been revealed unelected peers in the House of Lords are cashing in on tax-free allowances – paid to peers on a daily basis if they turn up for work.

Members of the House of Lords- whose exact number is difficult to pin down but is estimated to be about 830 – receive a sum of £300 if they arrive in the building for an hour. They neither have to contribute or vote on any matters to receive the funds. As the cash is paid as an allowance – rather than a salary – it is not subject to taxation.

Kirsty Blackman MP, SNP spokesperson on the House of Lords commented:

"People may well be astonished to learn that this money – which can amount to tens of thousands of pounds over a year – is not subject to income tax. Particularly as some on the newly ennobled Tory peers were so delighted to confirm that their first act as members of parliament was to vote to end tax credits for the low paid and deprive working families on low incomes of this essential benefit.

“The Tories had to perform a humiliating U-turn following pressure from the SNP in the House of Commons. However – the juxtaposition of the most privileged and pampered in the land gleefully hitting out at hard working people – will not be lost.

"The SNP has never taken seats in the House of Lords. It is now no more than a chamber of cronies – hangers on and people with big cheque books who pay their political bosses to get a seat guaranteed for life. They face no democratic accountability – never have to bother with the trouble of an election.

"The House of Lords is nothing more or less than an affront to democracy. It shines a light on the utter failure of Westminster’s creaking not fit for purpose ‘democracy’ and yet it grows and grows in numbers. Even the Tories want to clip its wings by reducing its role even further. This Christmas – as the peers ponder how to spend their lavish tax free allowances – the message is simple. Don’t reduce its powers and make it even more of a useless relic – get rid of it 
 close it down for good in 2016  and replace it with something that remotely resembles a democratic chamber."
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