As someone claimed that we hadn’t addressed the issue of expenses in the Lords I thought I should put the record straight. If you type in the search box ‘expenses’ you will find quite a few entries from me and others.
Recently we introduced a new system which will take effect from October. It is IMV a marked improvement on the previous one but we still need more changes. I pointed out in my speech on this in July that we ought to review the assistance given to Peers with disabilities as a priority but other changes are needed over time. I still favour bringing in IPSA (the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority) to work on this but IPSA is remarkably unpopularat the moment and there is some justification for that. If we are not to have an independent model then my favoured option is to have continuous review with recommendations to the House formally (and therfore publically) agreed on the floor of the House.
Meanwhile we have wrapped up the various allowances into a single one which is rather less than the total of the previous ones. It means we get £300 every time we attend BUT before you say “Yikes!” do remember that has to cover everything. So I have to pay my secretary/researcher out of that and all other expenses. I also don’t get any money if I am working but not physically in the House. There is of course no formal pay, no holiday or sick pay and no pension so don’t give up your day job if you are coming into the House of Lords! AND we are still by far the cheapest second chamber in the world.