Explain the limitations on the powers of the House of Lords.

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Explain the limitations on the powers of the House of Lords. [16]

Throughout the 20th century there was a steady reduction in the powers of the Lords as the Commons became the dominant House within Parliament. There was a reform of the Lords in 2000, removing all but 92 of the hereditary peers (the reason why they remain is the Weatherill Amendment). Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said the House of Lords is a "flawed institution" which exercises power without legitimacy. In examining the limitations on their powers, a good place to start are the various Parliament Acts that have been passed.

The first Parliament Act came in 1911, and it removed the House of Lord’s power to veto legislation. The original form of the 1911 Act was used three times, including the Government of Ireland Act 1914, which would have established a Home Rule government in Ireland; its implementation was blocked due to the First World War. The Lords likewise can’t touch bills that relate to raising and spending of government money.

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Immediately after the Second World War, the Labour government of Clement Attlee decided to amend the 1911 Act to reduce further the power of the Lords, as a result of their fears that their radical programme of nationalisation would be delayed by the Lords and hence would not be completed within the life of the parliament. The Parliament Act of 1949 followed this up and reduced the length of time the House of Lords could delay bills, limiting its ability to check the power of government.  Lords have the power to delay other bills for a maximum of one year, ...

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