An interesting little update on the subsidy that MPs get in their fine dining rooms in the Palace of Westminster.

It means for every £10 an MP spent on lunch, the public contributed £7.60. The year before, the public contributed £6.90.

Yes, the subsidy is going up, not down in these straightened times.

The taxpayers’ subsidy for the bars and restaurants in the Houses of Commons has risen to £5.8m a year, despite promises by parliamentary official to cut public funding for politicians’ meals and drinks.

There should, of course, be action this day on this matter and the subsidy wiped out, our elected representatives having to cough up for their own food like all of us do.

However, even if there were no direct subsidy, if that £5.8 million was £0, this would still not be enough. For the wining and dining, the partaking of pints, is taking place inside a Royal Palace (yes, it still is). Which means that the outlsets there are not paying rates. Which, in that part of London, are substantial. I once (can't recall why) looked up the business rates on a pub on the Vauxhall Bridge Road, just around the corner. £50,000 a year or thereabouts, then there was rent of the same amount to be paying.

There are, or there certainly used to be, 14 bars in Parliament. Thus, 14 bars, £100k rent and rates a year each, far from there being a subsidy to MPs browsing and sluicing, they should be turning in a £1.4 million a year profit. Only then could they say to be paying the same prices that everyone outside the Palace is.

For we are all in this together, aren't we?