January 10th, 2012

Food in Parliament is Twice as Expensive for Public as MPs

Despite a couple of MPs yesterday backing the idea to privatise and outsource Parliament’s catering, most of the time the subsidy in Parliament is defended on the basis that it helps out the assorted staffers and bag carriers as well as the gorging Members. Leaving aside the fact that this argument fails to consider other low paid public sector workers who receive no such perk, it is also complete baloney. Take a look at these two menus from the very same day in Parliament:

Firstly steak and chips in the Strangers’ Bar, where MPs can invite; constituents, voters, taxpayers and staff to dine with them:-

Then have a look at the very same item on the menu in the exclusive Members Private Dining Room:-

Same meal, same day, very different prices. Subsidy for the MPs, who incidentally vote on their own subsidy, is in this case over 50%. They make us, the taxpaying public pay for their subsidised troughing. One price for them, one for us…


  1. 1
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Plus they twice(nearly three) times the average salary in the UK ( 24k),, then expenses, a free home, and subsidised bars/resturants!

    the trough must be cleared.

  2. 2
    Panda says:

    What’s with the bear sauce?

  3. 3
    Mike Litorus says:

    Cheating. Fucking. Bastards.

    Not that that is new to anyone, but I like to get it off my chest every now and again.

  4. 4
    The Hidden extras says:

    I think you will find mr Bowden that very few MPs are on the basic salary. What they have done is created enough jobs within the job so that every MP can almost double his salary. Not many are aware of it but MPs are paid to sit on select committies and other such duties that really be part of the job of being an MP anyway and they are paid more than handsomely for doing so.

  5. 5
    Stoke says:

    What’s a ‘hand cut chip’? when it’s at home?
    They should all kill themselves.

  6. 6
    Ed the fed says:

    David Miliband is incensed – bananas in Bellamy’s cost 40p each, compared to 18p in the Tesco under Portcullis House. Drinks, crisps, sandwiches are all more expensive on the estate than off.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    Ian Woodrow says:

    We seem to have the finest politicians that money (or subsidies) can buy.

  9. 9
    Worral, from ready staedy crook says:

    It’s a steal if you ask me.

  10. 10
    Gordon Harrison says:

    Still bloody expensive though. Can get two steak and chips for a fiver down the local.

  11. 11
    Kezza the Hat says:

    Give them the same contractors, food and menus that schools and hospitals have to put up with. See how they like it.

  12. 12
    iluvni says:

    Quince glazed belly of pork with savoy cabbage and white bean stew for £6.75.

    The only way I could afford that is to send Anthony Worrall Thompson to do my shopping.

  13. 13
    Sophie says:

  14. 14
    I don't need no doctor says:

    Yes indeed. Let them have NHS hospital catering.

  15. 15
    Nothing better to do. says:

    !Leaving aside the fact that this argument fails to consider other low paid public sector workers who receive no such perk, ”
    Why only mention low paid “public sector workers”? Why should any taxpayer who may well be earning less than the public sector worker subsidise anyone? Why should I work 12 to 15 hours a day just to send money to non productive and, in most cases, unnecessary government employed parasites? Make them pay for their own food like I have to. If they can’t afford restaurant prices make a sandwich or buy one at a baker.

  16. 16
    The caterers says:

    Don’t worry Guido. We make every effort to spit and gob on their food before it reaches the table.

  17. 17
    Fiscal Gerrymandering says:

    We are all in this together – unless you’re not a member

    As a member, Eric Pickles is twice the man he should be

  18. 18
    Socrates says:

    I had a 51p Tesco’s Value Lasagne for Christmas lunch. Fuck you all. (Is swearing allowed here?)

  19. 19
    I don't need no doctor says:

    I’ll have a AWT. Free food courtesy of Tesco.

  20. 20
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    Bollocks. You could get the ingredients at tesco for no more than £3.50, + say 50P for power for cooking and washing up.

  21. 21
    Uncle Monty says:

    That is, quite simply, theft.

  22. 22
    Durr says:

    The last time I ate out (at a Bernis) things were a lot cheaper.

  23. 23
    Anonymous says:

    Good on you Guidos, don’t let go of this one.

    The system is in bad need of reform.

  24. 24
    Troughing MP says:

    Ha ha ha I have all the chips! Oink oink!

  25. 25
    EdButLookSoWhatBalls says:

    You quote..”Leaving aside the fact that this argument fails to consider other low paid public sector workers who receive no such perk, it is also complete baloney.”

    What about private sector workers and the self-employed…the burden is on them the greatest!!

  26. 26
    Time warp says:

    Hang on a mo Guido. You said yesterday but both menus are dated February 14th 2011

  27. 27
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

  28. 28
    Ed's dead, baby, Ed's dead says:

    Even bbc news is trashing Ed. Ha ha!

  29. 29
    Durr says:

    I agree. Bliar on £8m and bugger all tax (and an ennoblement- the bastard). MP’s on assisted living alowance. Did we get nothing out of the MP’s cash allowance scandal? They are all still “at it”.
    Who is actualy “in charge” at Westminster?

  30. 30
    Troughing MP says:

    And we’re quietly putting our expenses back up as well. Fuck all you tax paying scum LOL

  31. 31
    EdButLookSoWhatBalls says:

    It’s used in grylling!

  32. 32
    Cell time says:

    Nothing in his speech was new, the delivery reminded me of an awkward child to in a public reading class, but what he has done, with some surprising backbone, is to throw down a very tough challenge to Guido and the DUEMA crew, think Ed will win this battle.

  33. 33
    Antony Worrall Thompson says:

    I’ll provide the cheese.

  34. 34
    Ed Miliband says:

    You always were a sarcastic bastard David.

  35. 35
    EdButLookSoWhatBalls says:

    Just feck off you other half of Jedward!!

  36. 36
    Diane Abbotts Apartheid Society says:

    Hooray, Ed Balls is on SKY

  37. 37
    Anthony Worrall Thompson says:

    Bollocks. I could get the ingredients at Tesco for nothing.

  38. 38

    MPs backed outsourcing / privatising yesterday.

  39. 39
    Blinky Bollocks says:

    Blinky on Sky News. Not sure if I want to risk watching it. I like to keep my TV screen intact. He actually just admitted “We know Labour has a credibility gap”!

  40. 40
    Anthony Worrel Miliband says:

    More Cheese Gromit ?

  41. 41
    Nu Attack Dog says:

    Silly expenses yes – MP’s ought to have some perks

  42. 42
    Tristram Smallbore-Ffipps MP says:

    This is silly. How do you expect Piggy Pickles to maintain his impressive girth unless the food is subsidised? Those of us near to him on the benches would be very afraid of cannibalism unless he can afford to maintain the calorie intake of a small third world country.

  43. 43
    Sir Aston Martin says:

    I hear you were abused as a child. Now be prepared to be abused as an adult, you thieving little git.

    Alzheimer’s, my arse.

  44. 44
    RedEd says:

    We in the Labour party need to do the right thing and going forward and doing the right thing for the people of this country is what we’ll do!

    Thank you!

  45. 45
    Anthony Worrel Miliband says:

    Ed B just gave Ed M the backing of the club chairman

  46. 46
    Blinky Bollocks is making moves says:

    Very interesting choice of words by Blinky. Boulton asked him if he’s going to go after Ed’s job. He said “Ed Miliband is the leader”. Not a denial.

  47. 47
    Tristram Smallbore-Ffipps MP says:

    We thought we were just voting to continue outsourcing the British legislature to Washington…….bugger.

  48. 48
    Sir Aston Martin says:

    Would you like a job standing by my goldfish pond with a little rod? £1.50 an hour (daylight only).

  49. 49
    Crusty says:


  50. 50
    Lord Fondlebum of Boy and Bankbonus says:

    I’ll have the fish, chips and guacamole, please.

  51. 51
    Sacré bleu! says:

    Eric Cantona wants to stand for the presidency of France. He’s got his election slogan already.

    When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea. Vote Cantona

  52. 52
    Crusty says:

    O/T I reckon Humphrys’ ‘ugly’ attack on Dick-Ed means Auntie has decided the Militw@t has to go for the good of the party (and therefore the good of the BBC)

  53. 53
    DUEMA says:

    He’s always making moves and plotting, it’s all slimy cockroaches like him know.

  54. 54
    The Last Quango in Paris says:

    In the same way that MP’s think we should have a minimum price on alcohol to stop us drinking ourselves to death, I think there should be a minimum price on the food they eat at our restaurant – many of them are fat bastards and clearly cannot control their appetites. I will send them all a healthy eating leaflet and they can have a 2 course lunch (NO alcohol, where else can you booze all day, work and have to make decisions?) for £49.99.

  55. 55
    Engineer says:

    Mr. P. Gascoigne as leader of the Labour party, anyone?

  56. 56

    A well trodden point is a pancake.

  57. 57
    Ed Tourette says:

    “One rib-eye steak with hand-cut chips fucking wanker, shag bollox!”

  58. 58
    Richard Madeley says:

    So feckin’ what!
    I’ll get it all and I’ll throw in two jars of black caviar and a bottle champagne too!

  59. 59

    I’ll have the 1st steak and chips in the stranger’s with the in-laws, and the same again in the members when they’ve boogered of t’Hull.

  60. 60
    anonk says:

    What sibling would not support his little brother, even when he understands it is a case of a lamb dressed up as mutton?

  61. 61
    Tom Badwind says:

    ‘Very strong and assured speech’ is the piffle we’re piddling, Dave.

  62. 62
    WVM says:

    He said fuck all of any substance.

  63. 63
    Durr says:

    It’s been an easy ride for too long IMO. The ones who have moaned about the new regime are the oldies who are used to an easy ride.

  64. 64
    Mrs. Ball-Scooper ( triple flipper ) says:

  65. 65
    Anon says:

    That’s very interesting. The other day I read a comment (in The Times, I think) from an MP who claimed he knew all about how people were suffering financially, because he wasn’t able to clear his credit card bill each month, just like his constituents.

    That struck me as bizarre, because I never fail to pay my credit card in full, and I never use my bank’s overdraft facility, and I earn a hell of a lot less than an MP’s basic £65K p.a.

    Was the MP thick, or a liar?

  66. 66
    Ed Balls, Shallow Chancer says:

    I meant to say he is leader of my photocopying team.

  67. 67
    High protein salty diet says:

    Wouldn’t you just prefer to chug on some stranger’s cock?

  68. 68
    Axe The Telly Tax says:

    At one point i thought Miliband was going to go off camera and shoot himself like that Polish guy the other day :-)

  69. 69
    RED ED - SON OF BROWN says:

    It’s thtill my blank thyeet of paper !!

  70. 70
    Steve P says:

    What does the crossed out feather logo mean?

  71. 71
    Steve P says:


  72. 72
    Valentine Smith says:

    No just greedy like most of them are

  73. 73
    Silent Bob says:
  74. 74

    It will still end in tears.

  75. 75
    Anon says:

    Rotten to the Core the lot of them……..

    How about some more detailed info on who the biggest troughers are ……
    GF Please Note…..

    The English peasants would be most grateful to have even a smell of there food & little seems to have changed since Henry 8’s time, we still have to pay for all of these pimps, parasites, leeches oh yes they call themselves Rt Hon Members, nothing could be further from the truth…..but that word has no real meaning for this vermin but its called democracy !!

  76. 76
    Handycock Phd (Troughing) says:

    Absolutely correct. Membership of a parliamentary committee means more pay, Chair of a committee, even more pay, then there are all sorts of jobs created to keep MP’s in line should they look like rebelling. Look at Hughes, our LibDem Chairman; when the coalition was formed and he started making rebellious noises, they created a job for him to ‘explain policies’ on a Minister’s salary. When I was removed as Chair of the Parliamentary Russian committee, I was immediately made Chair of the Health committee, so that I would not lose money and to keep me quiet. My old flatmate Bob Russell was given a knighthood to keep him quiet, as he was making left wing noises about coalition policies. The bottom line is this is all being done with taxpayer’s money and is a drop in the Ocean compared to the £31bn of government waste exposed by the Times, this week. Boaz. where’s my new Range Rover Evoque?

  77. 77
    Handycock Phd (Troughing) says:

    No it isn’t, it is Parliamentary privilege. Jahbulon.

  78. 78
    John says:

    What sort of prices do doctors and teachers pay for their food?

  79. 79
    Descartes says:

    I said in the 18th century ‘Any person putting themselves forward for service in public life (politics), should be banned from it, on the basis that they have put themselves forward.’ This is even more true today in the British Parliament, than it was in the 18th century when I said it.

  80. 80
    Silent but Violent says:

  81. 81
    HM The Queen says:

    It would seem to me that today’s politicians come from one of two backgrounds; those that have failed at their chosen careers, and those that have never had a career in the first place. Consequently one believes that the level of ‘troughing’ going on today is greater than at any time in history and is entirely disgraceful.

  82. 82
    Milton Friedman says:

    Any Government, put in charge of the Sahara desert would run out of sand in five years.

  83. 83
    Handycock Phd (Troughing) says:

    Well said Trougher.

  84. 84
    Kezza the Hat says:

    “Who is actualy “in charge” at Westminster?”

    The Unions and the Lobbyists.

  85. 85
    Huhne is innocent says:

    Dave should have been in that canteen today with a marker pen and altered all prices upwards.

    Time taken 15mins Max. Problem sorted.

    If he dithers about this little problem there is no hope I tell you.

    he wants to go to war with no aircraft carrier.

    thousands are going to die and Labour are doing nothing.

  86. 86
    Evil Landlord says:

    That was probably back in 1977

  87. 87
    Widescreen2010 says:

    I know it is bad, but I just can’t condemn anyone for helping themselves to pigeon breast and ribeye steak on the cheap.
    I’m a sucker for a good lunch myself.
    I just don’t have the hypocritical streak required to be a politician.

  88. 88
    MAD FRANKIE HADDOCK son of says:

    As i’ve said before the cost to the tax payer is the FULL £15. 85p !
    as each of these sponging thieving troughing parasites gets £170 per week food allowance And who pays that ?
    WE DO !
    So if your going to use this as a story
    then at least stop saying that they actually pay for anything
    They do not pay for fuck all it’s all claimed on expences

  89. 89
    Colonel Blimp says:

    Thank you Mr Haddock for your excellent and rather witty little post.

  90. 90
    Winona Ryder says:

    I can dress on a budget too!

  91. 91
    Jack Ketch says:

    All MPs are liars. It is part of the job spec. The ones who succeed are bloody liars and the real high flyers become Ed Balls, Ed Miliband, David Cameron—Ok, you name them.

  92. 92
    'one wot nose' says:

    Also handy to know where he is due to his unique ‘waft.

  93. 93
    Pietro de Manslime says:

    All that’s behind me now.

  94. 94
    Mystick1 says:

    Time for an equivalent ‘Arab Spring’ in the UK and get rid of the fucking scum in Westminster.

  95. 95
    Aunt Mat says:

    It is all fair if the subsidy is declared in their returns.

    Oh – but nobody declared it!

  96. 96
    Grex says:

    They’re losing cash. I am chef in a busy seaside pub. Steak (good steak, mind) with chips and the usual shit goes out at 12.95 and we make make maybe a £1.50 on it. And our kitchen is very lean and well run.

  97. 97
    zeidgeist says:

    So does the taxpayer subsidy to MPs make us steak-holders?

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