Valuing the work of the House…

Lord Norton

The House of Lords is criticised by some commentators on grounds of cost.  The criticisms are often levelled without any benchmark against which to assess value.  In a post on my own blog, I have drawn attention to the problems of ascribing a monetary value to the work of the House, not least in terms of the difference it makes to legislation as well as the quality of government.  The House may achieve significant amendments, with major implications for sections of society.  It may achieve smaller changes with important implications for groups or even an individual.  Take a current campaign – to legalise the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.  The case has been examined by the all-party group on drugs policy reform, of which I am an officer.  Last week, Baroness Meacher raised the issue in the House of a six-year-old boy suffering from extensive epileptic fits who may have a better quality of life if provided with the drug for medicinal purposes.  (You can see the exchanges here.)  I take this is a small – but, at the human level, important – case. One cannot really put a monetary value on achieving change of this sort.  Each Parliament, the number of amendments secured to Government Bills in the Lords will usually run into four figures.  Some changes are minor drafting amendments; others can be major.  There is no way to cost the changes.  If one could, they would put the annual running costs of the House in perspective.

4 comments for “Valuing the work of the House…

  1. Lord Blagger
    24/02/2018 at 11:54 am

    The House of Lords is criticised by some commentators on grounds of cost.


    Post them.

    make sure you include the depreciation costs and the costs of your booze cellar, refurbishment costs etc.

    Then post the number of amendments that are made by peers NOT originating from the government.

    Break that down into those that pass and those that don’t.

    What you will discover is that for each successful amendment we are paying a fortune. Money that would better be spent on medical treatment.

    Lastly, where’s the consent? Where do you ask for consent when you screw us out of money? Where is our option to say no? Why do you resort to violence or its threat against the minority who don’t want to fund your lifestyle, your wants?

    • Lord Norton
      19/03/2018 at 11:28 pm

      You clearly have not read Meg Russell’s research.

  2. maude elwes
    24/02/2018 at 3:51 pm

    Here is David Starkey relating the obvious. The Lords is an embarrassment to Democracy. It is swollen, ill informed and filled with unfounded self satisfaction.

    Like Cromwell, with over satisfied Monarchs, we need to be clear of this unelected room of rotting dwellers

  3. 01/04/2018 at 12:13 pm

    Hear Ye (please)
    “Suddenly” –
    over the past hundred or so years –
    every civilisational-“power” needs to be continually –
    [ altogether that’d be continuously] –
    replacing the priority of “patting-selves-on-back”
    {“Valuing The Work of The House”}
    “self-scrutinising-updating-and-publicly- revaluing …” –

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