Baroness Wilcox lives in a £4.5million home 200 yards from the House of Lords, but bills taxpayer up to £5,700 a month for walk to work.
By Michael Wilkinson, Political Correspondent
A House of Lords peer has been criticised for claiming up to £5,700 a month for walking to work from her £4.5million home just 200 yards away.
Baroness Wilcox, a former Tory minister, has been accused of exploiting a new tax-free payment of up to £300 a day which those who live in London benefit from the most.
The 74-year-old former Cadbury Schweppes director, who has taken home £74,400 in parliamentary attendance allowances, has not broken any rules.
A number of other peers are also thought to be claiming the allowance despite living in and around Westminster.
Labour MP John Mann said: “It is a scandal as big as the MPs’ expenses scandal.
Baroness Wilcox, a former Cadbury Schweppes director, has taken home £74,400 in parliamentary attendance allowances (UPPA)
“There is a lack of transparency, no evidence even whether these people stay around once they have signed for their money.
“The place is mired in sleaze, people doing business deals, exploiting their position, and the abuse of expenses is just one strand of it.”
An analysis by the Daily Mail newspaper found that 124 of the 161 Lords who live in London claimed the daily allowance this year.
They claimed £763,350 in the first two months of this year and it is estimated the annual bill could come in at around £3.8million.
It comes a day after the disgraced Lord Sewel quit the House of Lords after his cocaine-fuelled sex party with prostitutes was exposed.
In secret footage from the party, Baron Sewel criticised fellow peers for claiming “free money” for doing not much.
Lord Sewel, left, and the Sun’s expose of his activities
A House of Lords spokesperson said: “The allowance introduced in 2010 is based on attendance, not residence.
“Members of the House of Lords are not paid a salary.They can claim £300 or £150 for every day they attend the House and undertake parliamentary work. This system has been in place since 2010. Only members outside of greater London may claim travel costs.
“Members are expected to pay for any costs associated with attending the House such as their London accommodation, as well any staff costs from this. The total costs of Lords expenses in 2013/14 was £21.4m. which equates to 6p a month for each UK tax payer.”
Previous rules meant that only peers who deemed their main residence to be outside London were permitted to claim an overnight allowance of £174 to cover the cost of a hotel, rent or mortgage payments.