Labour's Lord Foulkes accused the Lib-Con Coalition of cynicism for "packing" the red benches with its placemen and women after failing to reform the Lords.
The ex-Scotland Office Minister said the chamber was reaching a "new peak" and the greater numbers and more regular attendance by newly-created peers meant higher expenditure on allowances and more demand on resources. "Quite frankly," he said, "this can't be achieved on a fixed budget."
Some 30 new peers were announced in August include Baroness Goldie, the ex-Scottish Tory leader. The total is now about 840.