From http://www.order-order.com/search/label/Snouts in the Trough. The truth is out there and it isn't pretty. Or try the House of Commons - The Register of Members' Financial Interests
How Will MPs Cope With 76 Days of Unsubsidised Booze?
As they slip off this afternoon to face a tough 12-weeks holiday in the real world without subsidised drink, Guido wonders how will MPs cope?
The House of Commons Refreshment Department operated on a subsidy of £5.5 million of taxpayersí money in the 2007/08 financial year, which is equivalent to the total annual tax receipts from 35 pubs. The subsidy is equivalent to £8,500 per MP - that is approximately £50 per diem on top of the £30 per diem they voted to award themselves every working day in cash.
The subsidy, which for some inexplicable reason was not published in the House of Commonsí Annual Accounts, was £693,000 higher than in 2006/07 - a 15% increase. No belt tightening for MPs despite the Chancellor's warnings.
It accounted for 43% of the operating costs, meaning that the taxpayer coughs up £4.30 for every £10 spent refreshing our politicians: even before they claim back their outgoings without receipts through the expenses system. These figures don't include the multi-million pound re-fit of the wine cellar.
MPs are members of the best London club with a dozen bars on the parliamentary estate, plenty of dining rooms, brasseries and banqueting suites all operating without a licence and no restrictions on hours - you can even smoke in some.
A pint in the Strangerís Bar costs £2.10, outside parliament in the West End you pay £3.50 to £4.00. An 8-year-old Scotch costs £1.35, while our politicians can enjoy a Pimmís on the pleasant Thames-side terrace for just £1.65 - which is a third to a half of prices a mile down the road. Do you really think they need to pay politicians more to attract people?
*Not including all the additional expense claims for essential new kitchens, appliances, window cleaning, garden pergolas, plasma TVs....
[Incidentally to all PRs who send Guido press releases - the AMLR press release was the best Guido has seen in years. Clever, on a relevant subject, well aimed and timed.]