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Sunday, December 07, 2014

Not all in it together after all

I know that Christmas is coming but that is no reason for the UK Parliamentary authorities to be quite so generous in offering the public yet another example of why they and those they serve are so out of touch with ordinary people.

Today's Observer piece on the champagne wars between the House of Commons and the House of Lords really needs no further elaboration. Crass does not do it justice.

The paper says that a proposal to save taxpayers some money by making peers and MPs share a catering department has been rejected “because the Lords feared that the quality of champagne would not be as good if they chose a joint service”.

They say that the House of Lords, which has a £1.3m annual catering budget, has bought in more than 17,000 bottles of champagne since 2010. That is enough to give each peer just over five bottles each year, at a cost of £265,770. As of 31 March this year, the House of Lords, which currently has 780 peers, had 380 bottles of champagne in stock, worth £5,713, held in its main cellar and at individual stores on site.

Naturally, Labour MPs on the committee (as are other MPs of course) are outraged. If only they had voted to abolish the Lords and replace it with an elected chamber when they had the chance.
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