Select Committee on Public Administration Fifth Report



* The Government would prefer to maintain expenses­based allowances rather than move to full­time salaries (para 86)

* But absence of payment may be a barrier to broadening the Lords. The Government seeks views on whether payment should exceed the current daily rate of £111; whether regular attenders should be able to commute these daily payments to an annual sum; and whether different considerations apply to the elected members (para 87)[73]

175. Currently peers are paid expenses only. The Royal Commission recommended a move to formal payment for the time spent on parliamentary duties, but the Government expressed a preference for the status quo.

176. We took little evidence on payments, but strongly believe that the system should encourage participation in the chamber by a wide range of people. The current system favours those who already have a private source of income. As the White Paper accepts, people who are on modest incomes or live far from London might benefit from a switch to more formal payments.

177. We are in favour of better payment for members of the second chamber, but the provision of salaries would raise difficult issues for a chamber whose members are likely to be a mixture of full-time and part-time members. It may be most practical and flexible in the transitional period to pay a daily rate, similar to those paid to members of a number of large public bodies. We recommend that the Senior Salaries Review Body should review the question of payment of members when the reformed chamber has been operating for a number of years.

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