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Monday, 30 March 2009

Taxpayers subsidise politicians' booze

While ordinary pub-goers have to pay excessive amounts of tax in pubs - for our own good of course - it’s always our round when our politicians hit the ale.

According to a press release issued in July 2008 by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), the House of Commons Refreshment Department received a subsidy of £5.5 million of taxpayers’ money in the 2007/8 financial year, equivalent to total annual tax receipts from 35 pubs. This subsidy, not published in the House of Commons’ Annual Accounts, was 15% higher than 2006/7.

The subsidy makes up 43% of the Department's income, so taxpayers cough up £4-30 for every £10 spent refreshing our politicians, even before they claim back their outgoings without receipts through their notorious expenses system, which they devised themselves. There are at least 12 bars in the Parliamentary estate, plus various dining rooms, brasseries and banqueting suites. As MPs write their own laws as well as ours, they operate without a licence and have no restrictions on hours.Thanks to us, MPs can enjoy much cheaper drinks than we can ourselves. A pint of Foster’s costs them £2.10, compared with a national average of £2.80 (33% higher) and a London average of around £3.00 (43% higher). A House of Commons 8-year-old Scotch costs £1.35, while our politicians can enjoy a Pimm’s on the Thames-side terrace for just £1.65.

How can we ever take their health messages about alcohol seriously again? They must laughing all the way to the bar. One way to protest is to go to http://www.axethebeertax.com/ and show your support for fairer alcohol taxation.

Full ALMR press release at: http://www.almr.org.uk/presspdfs/69.pdf

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