The Londoner: Peers ‘fight to get into chamber’ for double bubble pay

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  • November 6, 2020
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eers are “fighting to get into the Lords chamber” as a form of performance related pay appears to have had a galvanising effect on their Lordships’ habits of participation and voting.  

Members of the Lords who attend the chamber in person get the full daily allowance of £323, while those who participate or vote remotely receive £162. Those who do neither receive nothing. Previously, members of the Lords were paid for attending, but did not have to make a contribution or vote.  

As so many members wish to speak, and because of the difficult logistics of remote participation, a list has to be drawn up by the whips’ office with a rationing system giving places to those with relevant expertise or knowledge.  

One Lord told us “peers are fighting to get into the Lords chamber, taking all the risks of infection, because it is paid at double time.”

The Londoner compared voting averages for this October to similar months in the last three years and found they were on average 100 votes higher.  

A Lords spokesperson said, “memmbers have always taken [voting] very seriously,” adding: “high turnouts aren’t unusual…in 2018, for example, there were 13 divisions where 500 or more members voted”.

They continued “Members of the House of Lords are not paid a salary but may claim daily attendance allowance and limited travel expenses. Since moving to virtual and then hybrid sittings the House has regularly reviewed and adjusted the allowance system to reflect the new ways of working. Initially halving the allowance, and since September, retaining a half allowance for virtual participation.”

They also pointed out that for May 2020, the latest month figures are available, costs of the scheme were down 85 per cent on 2019.  

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