David Cameronâ€™s pledge to cut the cost of politics was in tatters last night after it emerged that the bill for the House of Lords has soared by Â£42million in the last three years.
Whoâ€™s the mug?
Some 103 additional peers have been created since 2010 â€“ most of them Tories and Lib Dems â€“ taking the total number to nearly 900.
In addition, the amount that taxpayers have to fork out per unelected peer has surged by 17 per cent since the Coalition came to power.
The revelation about political waste comes on the day it emerged that the bill for the Governmentâ€™s top spin doctors has risen almost four-fold in two decades.
Salaries for politically-appointed special advisers now stand at Â£7.2million â€“ up from Â£1.5million in the early 1990s.
Despite election pledges to slash their number, there are now 98 so-called â€˜spadsâ€™ working in Whitehall, up from 76 in 2010 under Labour.
They earn an average of Â£73,470 each â€“ more than a backbench MP.
Details of the increased spending make a mockery of promises by both the Tories and Lib Dems to reduce the cost of politics.
The Coalition had promised to save Â£12million a year by slashing the number of MPs from 650 to 600 but the plan was ditched following a bust-up between the two parties over House of Lords reforms.
The amount of extra money spent on the Lords since 2010 is now more than three times what the Prime Minister hoped to save in the Commons.
The latest figures show that the operating costs for each peer â€“ which includes their daily allowance and staff wages â€“ increased from Â£97,725 to Â£114,721 between 2010 and this year.
Labour MP Tom Greatrex, who uncovered the data, said the Prime Ministerâ€™s commitment to reducing the cost of politics was a â€˜shamâ€™.
The member for Rutherglen added: â€˜David Cameronâ€™s commitment to cutting the cost of politics is exposed as little more than a failed plan to get rid of democracy and replace it with an ever expanding unelected chumocracy of Lord Snootyâ€™s pals.â€™
Jonathan Isaby of the TaxPayersâ€™ Alliance called for reforms and said the Lords should not be â€˜immune from the need to run itself cost effectivelyâ€™.
David Cameron under fire as cost of running House of Lords leaps by Â£42m