6 January 2015: Lord Williams of Elvel moved that this House takes note of the case for effecting a reduction in the number of Peers attending the House each day without recourse to primary legislation.|
during the debate...
Lord Faulkner of Worcester:
As we have heard, the actual number of new Peers has been 160, which exceeds by a substantial amount the total who have left, whether by death, retirement or resignation. This is the reason why the membership of the House now stands at nearly 800.
However, the really important statistic is the number who are attending regularly, which has crept up to around 500. That compares with, for example, 350 to 450 before the passage of the House of Lords Act in 1999, when the membership of the House was well in excess of 1,000. One reason why more Peers are attending is because the average age of new Members is a lot lower than that of those who have left us. Your Lordships tend to live longer than most members of the population, and the average age of departure—until recently, that has been a euphemism for death—has been 85, whereas the average age for new Members has been 59 in the current Session. Intriguingly, the overall average age of Members, at 70, is almost exactly the same today as it was when I joined the House in 1999. The one difference, I am afraid, is that I am now much closer to the average than I was 15 years ago.
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