An influential group of MPs has issued a stark warning to peers not to interfere in tax and spend policies.
In a letter to Lord Strathclyde on behalf of the Treasury committee, committee chair Andrew Tyrie said that the “exclusive authority of the House of Commons in matters of taxation and expenditure” must be protected.
“Only elected politicians should take decisions on budgetary and tax issues. That means upholding the principle of financial privilege of the House of Commons,” Tyrie said.
Lord Strathclyde is currently leading a review into the role of the House of Lords, following peers’ vote in October to delay tax credit cuts.
At the time, Downing Street said the “rapid review” was necessary because the tax credit votes had raised a “constitutional issue”. Tyrie said in October that peers had waged an “unprecedented challenge to the authority of the House of Commons”, adding, “The unelected House should not, and cannot, be permitted to take decisions on taxation, overturning the will of the elected House.”
Strathclyde, a Tory peer, was leader of the opposition in the House of Lords from 1998 until 2010. He is expected to publish the findings of his review next week.