A recent report by the Electoral Reform Society says that 115 peers claim £1.3m despite not speaking in Lords for nine months. I’m happy to say that I’m not one of them. I spoke nearly a hundred times last year and as the only Green in the room (the only Green Party peer), I’m in a unique position to raise issues that are often ignored. From civil liberties to the use of pesticides, I can influence what issues are discussed.
Cutting the number of Lords is no guarantee of improved efficiency, especially if the Government set the criteria for who goes and who stays. A far better and more direct solution would be an elected second chamber, preferably using a system of PR. There are some wonderful, experienced peers and I would love for their voices and advice to be retained within any reformed second chamber, but voting to revise legislation should be done by those elected by the people.