The £300 daily allowance for attending the House of Lords is ‘inadequate’ according to millionaire peer, Lord Farmer
The hedge-fund boss and Tory donor said people would consider the allowance ‘modest and even inadequate’ if they knew how hard peers worked.
He also believes that the allowance should be increased because attending the House of Lords ‘restricts their earning opportunities elsewhere’.
The 71-year-old peer, who is believed to have a personal wealth of £150million and to have donated £6.5million to the Conservatives, said he personally does not claim the allowance because ‘I do not need to’.
But, he added, ‘some depend on the daily allowance to make ends meet because they give so much of their time.
‘If this were made clear to the public who, of course, pay garage and plumbers’ bills per hour, or per day, they might think the daily fee is in fact rather modest, and even inadequate. particularly if they understood there are many peers whose work here restricts their earning opportunities elsewhere.’
He also called for a ramped-up press office for the lords, because ‘if [peers’] contribution is to be considered worthy of public funding, the public need to value and understand the work we do’.
‘We might even see public support for higher daily allowances, which I would endorse wholeheartedly.’
However Alex Wild, research director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘It would be hard to square David Cameron’s commitment to the cost of politics with hiking the tax-free peers’ allowance.
‘At a time when the government is rightly looking to keep spending down, they need to practise what they preach.’