SNP hits out at retired peers bar plan

The SNP have hit out at proposals to allow retired peers to entertain business contacts in taxpayer-funded bars and restaurants. Picture: PA

The SNP have hit out at proposals to allow retired peers to entertain business contacts in taxpayer-funded bars and restaurants. Picture: PA

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PERMITTING retired Lords to entertain business contacts in Westminster’s taxpayer-subsidised bars and restaurants will mean “the festive season never ends for peers”, the SNP has complained.

Proposed reforms designed as an incentive to encourage peers to retire would permit them to continue to use the numerous restaurants and bars at Westminster.

The SNP - whose long-standing position is not to take peerages - fears the leave to permit retired peers to continue to entertain clients and business contacts at Westminster will “open Parliament up to further potential of sleaze with a total lack of accountability”.

SNP MP Angus MacNeil said: “At a time when many people across Scotland are struggling to make ends meet, proposals to allow retired peers to continue to use lavish Lords facilities at taxpayers’ expense take the biscuit. It seems the festive season never ends for peers.

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“Earlier this year, I wrote to the Metropolitan Police urging them to review new evidence about cash-for-peerage deals admitted by Liberal Democrat party treasurer Lord Razzall. But it seems that just as we get to grips with one scandal, another emerges.

“At Westminster, we already have the ludicrous situation that there are far more legislators who are appointed than elected.

“It beggars belief that in 2014 we still have a system of unelected peers claiming up to £300 a day just to clock in.

“The SNP’s long-standing position is that we believe those making laws should be elected by the people, and therefore we do not nominate members to the House of Lords.

“With Tory austerity set to continue as at least £25 billion more in cuts heads Scotland’s way, it is time for the Westminster parties to review this ludicrous proposal.”

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