Belfast Telegraph

Monday 5 October 2015

£6m subsidy for Parliament bars

Published 10/08/2014

A Commons spokeswoman said officials are 'determined to reduce costs further' in Parliament bars and restaurants
A Commons spokeswoman said officials are 'determined to reduce costs further' in Parliament bars and restaurants

The taxpayer subsidised Parliament's exclusive bars and restaurants to the tune of £6 million last year.

While the bill fell in the House of Commons after a series of revenue-raising measures, costs at the Lords went up.

Usually the Commons publishes figures that offset sales of souvenirs and gifts against spending on its catering service.

But in response to a freedom of information request, the authorities revealed that without that income the operation ran a deficit of £4.5 million in 2013-14.

That was down from £4.9 million the previous year.

Meanwhile, the House of Lords annual accounts showed that the net cost of its catering and retail outlets rose by around £150,000 to £1.45 million.

Excluding profits from banqueting functions and retail sales, the overall bill was some £2.44 million - up from £2.3 million in 2012-13.

A Commons spokeswoman said: "Much of the net cost to the House arises because of the irregular hours and unpredictability of Parliamentary business.

"Food and drink prices are regularly reviewed and set at levels benchmarked against similar outlets outside the House.

"The costs to the House have been reduced since 2003.

"We are determined to reduce costs further and have a target of £3 million for 2015-16."

From the web

Sponsored Videos

Your Comments

Comments posted this week will only be visible until Saturday Oct 3 and will not be available to view after that date. This is due to essential upgrade work on our content management system and we apologise for any inconvenience.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph