David Cameron is to put forward legislation to weaken the House of Lords after it blocked his plans for welfare cuts on the poorest.
A review ordered by the government in the wake of the tax credit cut spat in October will say that peers should lose their right to veto secondary legislation from the House of Commons. Instead of a veto, the review will propose that the House of Lords will be able to send the laws back to the Commons, forcing MPs to vote on the legislation a second time.
Peers on all sides are expected to challenge the legislation, but the changes will be proposed as primary legislation, so the government can force through the changes under the Parliament Act and peers will be unable to block the reduction of their powers.
Labour has described the proposed changes as “churlish” and a “massive over reaction” to the government’s defeat, and noted that Chancellor George Osborne announced that he had abandoned his plans for a £4.4bn cut to tax credits in his Autumn Statement as a positive change.
Only in very rare cases to peers block legislation, instead generally opting for a symbolic “motion of regret” when they disagree with MPs. The House of Lords has only vetoed secondary legislation six times in the last half a century.