Taxpayers subsidising MPs' bars to the tune of £5.5m

22 July 2008 by
Taxpayers subsidising MPs' bars to the tune of £5.5m

MPs drinking in any one of the 12 bars in the Parliamentary estate were subsidised by £5.5m worth of taxpayers' money in the past financial year, it was claimed today.

According to the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) politicians enjoy a pint of lager at one third of the national average price.

A pint of Foster's in Stranger's Bar costs £2.10, compared with a national average of £2.80 (33% higher) and a London average of around £3.00 (43% higher).

The subsidy to the House of Commons refreshment department has increased by 15% in the past year with tax-payers coughing up £4.30 for every £10 spent by MPs on booze, before the receipts go through expenses.

The ALMR believe that the annual subsidy is equivalent to the total annual tax receipts of 35 pubs.

Nick Bish, ALMR chief executive said that MPs now faced a 12 week summer recess in a world without subsidised drink.

"When they return to the cheap and abundant drink of the Westminster village, they will think again about the relentless regulation and rapidly rising costs hitting the great British pub and revisit the crippling alcohol duty escalator."

Pubs face legislation on price promotions >>

Alcohol tax hike unfair and no deterrent to binge-drinking >>

Government fails to disclose beer tax motives >>

Parliamentary voice for an embattled industry >>

By Christopher Walton

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