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Subsidy that makes us sick; RecordView.

NO wonder the lords are a-leaping. It is costing the taxpayer more than PS2.3million in subsidies, or PS63,000 a week, to keep them fed in the upper chamber of Parliament.

The red-caped, unelected politicians tuck into massively subsidised plates of nosh on the parliamentary estate - while they claim PS300 for every day they attend, even if they only turn up for lunch.

And it is worth making the trip for the food alone.

Puddings and pies and lobsters and steaks are all available at prices that would make such lavish fare almost affordable to ordinary people.

Try buying the same menu at one of central London's restaurants and you'll be considerably out of pocket.

But as it happens, you're out of pocket already - because the 760 lords, bishops and baronesses receive PS1.33 million a year from taxpayers for their food and drink, according to Parliamentary figures.

Add another million on to that - as the Lords authorities discount profits from private events and even from gift shop sales to lower their figures - and you get a true picture of what this anachronistic institution costs. And that's the food bill alone.

There have been many attempts to reform the Lords, to introduce some form of democracy and accountability to the chamber that revises the laws MPs make.

All efforts so far have been abandoned or left half-baked. There is one solution that hasn't been tried - starve them out and cut off their subsidised nosh.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 2, 2013
Words:245
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