Earlier today Theresa May MP wrote for ConservativeHome about her support for a largely elected House of Lords. The Commons has just voted for the Lords to be 80% elected, 20% appointed but then by a larger majority for 100% elected. This puts the two parliamentary Conservative parties on a collision course. The MPs may want an elected Upper House but the Tory peers are much less keen (the expression ‘turkeys voting for Christmas’ comes to mind). Posted below is an 18DoughtyStreet.com interview that Iain Dale conducted with Chairman of the Association of Conservative Peers, Gillian Sheppard. She strongly opposes the idea of another tier of democratically-elected politicians and does not believe that the current House of Lords is doing anything wrong. Well worth watching.
Lord Lipsey has estimated the cost of a largely elected House of Lords at over £1bn for one parliamentary term. "My estimate is a conservative one," the former economics editor of The Sunday Times has argued: "Given inflation and given the capacity of elected politicians to insist on more resources, the outcome could easily be much more expensive. At the moment, the Lords provides value-for-money as a legislature. It taps the expertise of its members, who are unpaid. That is why the cost per member of the Lords amounts to only £149,000 by comparison with £726,000 for each member of the Commons. Which would people rather their taxes went on – nurses and hospitals, teachers and schools or yet another gang of expensive politicians?"