The campaign to end subsidised food and alcohol in Parliament has been reignited after MPs voted down a motion to see the free school meal scheme extended over the school holidays.
According to the latest figures taxpayers stump up £57,000 a week to subsidise food and drink for politicians across both houses.
In the House of Commons the public had to find £1.7 million to fund MPs, their staff and guests in bars, canteens and restaurants.
The Terrace Cafeteria received a £646,000 subsidy, while the Peers’ Dining Room in the House of Lords was propped up by some £779,257 – leading to Liberal Democrat peer Lord Tyler to describe it as the “best day care centre for the elderly in London”.
But after food vouchers for kids – costing a paltry £15 a week – were snubbed, the campaign to end subsidised meals for MPs has picked up momentum again.
A petition on 38degrees has seen several thousand new signatures since the motion was denied, with one person saying they were “disgusted” that politicians voted not to provide free meals for vulnerable children despite their own meals being subsidised.
Another said: “MPs have had a pay rise, and they have subsidised food. They have voted against the NHS nurses and the poorest of us from getting these things too. They are utterly shameless in denying children food during this very difficult time, yet continue to benefit from the privileges of their office.”
While Maria H said: “The fact that fat cats could be taking money that could be used to feed hungry kids. This government has no moral compass!!!!!!!!!”
This morning’s Daily Star, which has become an unlikely hero of the pandemic, also raised the issue, questioning how MPs who have sirloin steak subsidised have the mettle to vote down free meals for hungry children.
The transformation of the Daily Star from a place to gawp at boobs into the leaders of the revolution is quite something pic.twitter.com/yvQAXyJ24t— James Felton (@JimMFelton) October 22, 2020
There was a groundswell of opinion elsewhere too. We’ve picked out some of the best:
MPs, earning between £77k-150k, have their meals subsidised in Parliament.— Ava-Santina (@AvaSantina) October 22, 2020
In 2018, subsidising food cost the *taxpayer* £4.4 million
322 taxpayer funded MPs, earning £77k-£150k are quite happy to enjoy subsidised meals in parliament, while voting to stop free school meals for the poorest children in the country.— James Melville (@JamesMelville) October 22, 2020
#1 MPs Staff as well as MPs use the subsidised canteens in Parliament but if we can’t afford to feed our kids in school holidays how is alright to spend circa £4.5 Million subsidising meals in Parliament?— Karl Turner MP (@KarlTurnerMP) October 22, 2020
Timely reminder of how cheap it is to eat like a king in Parliament, subsidised by the tax payer. pic.twitter.com/8cRpxG6sqm— Helen?#FBPE #ForeverEuropean (@brightsider123) October 21, 2020