Taxpayers Fork Out £17 Million to Subsidise MPs’ Food and Drink

As inflation begins to bite and food prices soar, MPs are resting easy knowing they’re being spared the horrors of forking out nearly £7 per pint, all courtesy of taxpayer generosity. This round’s on us.

New figures released following a Freedom of Information request from OpenDemocracy reveal all 17 of Parliament’s bars and restaurants have been making huge losses for the past few years, with taxpayer cash being used to keep them afloat. More than £6.6 million was spent in 2020 alone, with the tab coming to a staggering £17 million over the last three years. In fact, the average cost of dinner in the Members’ Dining Room actually fell by more than £1 between 2018 and 2021…

Even with MPs gratefully accepting a £2,212 pay rise this year, menu prices still significantly undercut local competitors by a huge margin. Here’s what Members can expect to pay inside Parliament compared to the Red Lion next door:

The basic salary of a backbencher is now £84,144. Virtually nowhere in London – certainly not in Westminster – will offer prices even close to what’s available in the Commons. Trebles all round – on the taxpayer…
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