Letter from The Rt Hon Lord Steel of Aikwood
I refer to your Note to Members of the House
of Lords concerning the House of Lords Reform Inquiry.
A retiring age would be an effective way of
bringing down the numbers in the House as is sought while allowing
an intake of fresh blood. It could work by permitting any peer
over the age of say, 75 or 80 to apply for permanent leave of
absence, and encouraging this with a reasonable "resettlement
grant" together with limited social access to the building
as has been done with the discarded hereditaries.
The advantage of this approach is that party
whips or cross bench managers could encourage people to take advantage
of this whilst not excluding a few rarities such as ex-Prime Ministers.
I am putting this view to your committee in
response to their request for suggestions.