Peers paid £162 to simply turn on their computer while the House of Lords is shut due to coronavirus

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MEMBERS of the House of Lords are being paid £162 to simply turn on their computer while the chamber is shut due to coronavirus.

The 780 peers usually receive an attendance allowance of £323 per day.

Peers are being paid £162 to turn on their computer while the chamber is shut due to coronavirus

They now get half of that for taking part in virtual proceedings — costing taxpayers up to £120,000 per day.

They qualify for a daily allowance because they are not given a salary.

There is no minimum time or requirement on participation.

It means peers can log-on to a debate and not even have to speak to receive cash.

The House of Lords Commission recommended new rules to prevent abuse of the system during the coronavirus pandemic.

It suggested Lords will need to show “active participation” in proceedings either virtually or in person – for example through a Select Committee meeting or speaking in a debate.

But they will not be able to receive the money for “simply following proceedings online or in the chamber”.

Lords Speaker Lord Fowler, who chairs the commission, said: “We are proposing to replace the current allowance with a lower working allowance that reflects the fact that Members are not incurring the same overhead costs while carrying out their work from home.”

 

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