MPs' days of cheap food and drink are numbered
Friday 21 May 2010
Their second homes are no more and their first-class rail tickets have been confiscated. But thanks to the subsidised bars, cafés and restaurants in the Palace of Westminster, at least MPs were still able to console themselves with a cut-price pint and a main course of braised rabbit for little more than a fiver.
But even this perk will soon be removed as part of the Government's campaign to cut the cost of politics. David Cameron promised to remove the taxpayer-funded subsidy for food and drink in Westminster before the election. It is understood the proposals have already been discussed with the Commons Commission, which oversees catering in parliament.
MPs are already mourning the loss of one favoured haunt, Bellamy's, which is being turned into a nursery. A pint of lager had cost just £2.10 in some bars, a fraction of the price most Londoners would pay in a pub.
MPs had also been able to treat themselves to a salad of lemon and lime-marinated roasted tofu with baby spinach and rocket, home-roasted plum tomatoes and grilled ficelle crouton for just £1.70.
Mr Cameron announced the move last September, along with plans to slash ministers' salaries by 5 per cent and reduce the 170-strong fleet of ministerial cars by a third to cut the cost of politics by £120m a year.
"Under a Conservative government, far from politicians being exempt from the age of austerity, they must show leadership," he said. "This country is in a debt crisis. We must all play our part, carry our burden and pay our fair share."
On the house
The menu at The Adjournment restaurant in Portcullis House:
Vichyssoise soup – £2.00
Braised Rabbit – £6.15
Seasonal Vegetables – £1.30
Cappuccino – £1.30
Bottle of Sparkling Water – £1.20
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