Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Whingeing Lords demand hardship fund despite £162 daily allowance

Documents "expose the total privilege and sheer arrogance of unelected Lords at Westminster".

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Unelected members of the House of Lords, outraged by a cut to their daily allowance, have asked for a hardship fund to help them during the Coronavirus crisis, it has emerged.

The incredible appeal, revealed in a freedom of information request, was included in a host of internal complaints to the Lords’ Commissioner.

Earlier this year, peers saw their daily allowance cut to £162-a-day just for turning up as the House of Lords moved to remote working during lockdown.

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A flurry of complaints from unnamed privileged peers followed, with the detail now being made public for the first time.

One unelected peer claimed that “a number of Peers have been financially embarrassed by the present arrangements”, while other peers queried “if there was any chance of setting up a hardship fund for members in financial difficulty during this time?”

Another Lord moaned that “I would be very disappointed to give up my lease and then find things back to normal” while a colleague remarked that peers may be forced to resign from their roles as “the financial pinch is so horrible”.

A fellow Lord also claimed the pay cut has left them “feeling exploited” and “completely undervalued”.

Astonishingly, one peer also remarked that the changes to pay are “not even minimum wage”. Minimum wage for a worker over 25 in the UK is currently £8.72 per hour.

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Another peer complained: “I’d like to know which expenses those who maintain a flat in London but live elsewhere, dropped away – apart from perhaps buying those coming to lobby us teas and coffees, or more regular dry-cleaning!”

Commenting, SNP MSP Rona Mackay said: “These documents expose the total privilege and sheer arrogance of unelected Lords at Westminster.

“How dare these peers complain they aren’t paid enough when thousands of people across Scotland are struggling just to make ends meet due to the financial impact of Coronavirus.

“These Lords are out of control – only Communist China has a bigger legislative body – and even more members of the privileged elite, like Baroness Ruth Davidson, will be skipping down the road to join them very shortly.

“It’s time to put the brakes on this gravy train and abolish the House of Lords for good.”

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