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15 September 2020

Stevenson Slams House of Lords "Hardship" Claims

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has criticised peers in the House of Lords after they called for a hardship fund to help them during the coronavirus crisis.

The appeal, which was revealed in a freedom of information request, was included in a host of internal complaints to the Lords’ Commissioner.

Peers saw their daily allowance cut to £162-a-day as the House of Lords moved to remote working during lockdown.

A flurry of complaints from unnamed privileged peers followed, with the detail now being made public for the first time.

One unelected peer claimed that “a number of Peers have been financially embarrassed by the present arrangements”, while other peers queried “if there was any chance of setting up a hardship fund for members in financial difficulty during this time?”

Another Lord moaned that “I would be very disappointed to give up my lease and then find things back to normal” while a colleague remarked that peers may be forced to resign from their roles as “the financial pinch is so horrible”. A fellow Lord also claimed the pay cut has left them “feeling exploited” and “completely undervalued”.

Astonishingly, one peer also remarked that the changes to pay are “not even minimum wage”. Minimum wage for a worker over 25 in the UK is currently £8.72 per hour.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“This Freedom of Information request exposes the total privilege and sheer arrogance of unelected Lords at Westminster.

“As people across Scotland struggle to make ends meet due to the financial impact of coronavirus these peers have the audacity to complain £162-per-day is not enough.

“These Lords are out of control and even more members of the privileged elite, like Baroness Ruth Davidson, will be skipping down the road to join them very shortly.

“It’s time to put the brakes on this gravy train and abolish the House of Lords for good.”

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