Peers exploit loophole to claim £48k a year expenses

PEERS are exploiting an expenses loophole to claim a tax-free annual income of up to £48,000, it was claimed today.

Parliamentary rules mean members of the House of Lords can claim back up to 308 a day for travel, meals and accommodation while performing their duties.

As they do not receive a salary, the money is intended to cover their costs and is not eligible for tax.

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However, under the system they do not have to submit receipts to prove their outlay.

It was reported that nearly two thirds of peers are automatically claiming the maximum amount nearly every time they visit the Lords.

Some 259 of the 550 Lords who applied for "day subsistence" - a 78.50 payment for meals and taxis - claimed the maximum amount at least 95 per cent of the time.

Of the 406 peers who claim "overnight subsistence" for hotels - worth 159.50 a day - 272 claimed the maximum at least 95 per cent of the time.

And 338 of the 514 Lords who claim office expenses - worth 69 a day - claimed the maximum on nearly all occasions

It was reported that several lords admitted that they saw the expenses as an allowance and collecting the full amount was routine.

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