MPs And Their £138,000 Unpaid Food and Drinks Bills

I came across a article about this back in the summer of 2009 thats 8 months ago and still these parasites have not paid up.

Published: 00:00 February 16, 2010

Shameless MPs are attempting to prevent the publication of embarrassing details about unpaid food and drinks bills in the House of Commons

Authorities are chasing £138,000 (Dh795,498) from more than half of all MPs for wining, dining and entertaining in Parliament's restaurants and bars.

Included are 77 MPs who have failed to settle their tabs averaging more than £500 each for more than six months.

Some MPs are suspected of running up charges worth thousands of pounds in the numerous taxpayer-subsidised bars and restaurants around Parliament.

The late Gwyneth Dunwoody was once threatened with legal action after £2,000 went unpaid to the House authorities.


Parliamentary authorities initially intended to release a full breakdown of unpaid bills by MPs last year.

But MPs on the Commons Administration Committee which oversees the House catering facilities have asked for its release to be postponed pending further legal advice.

It is understood MPs reacted furiously to the prospect of being named and shamed' and are demanding data protection' considerations be taken into account.

The Data Protection Act was cited by the Commons in its three-year battle ultimately unsuccessful to prevent the release of a detailed breakdown of MPs' second home allowance claims.

It means voters are unlikely to learn whether their MP is among those who have dodged food and drinks bills until after the General Election.

Catering in the Commons is taxpayer subsidised by £6.1 million a year. The details of MPs' entertaining debts show that in August, 329 MPs owed a total of £138,046 for food and drink.


The debts include accounts from events MPs have sponsored giving third parties such as constituents access to Parliamentary facilities as well as personal bills.

Matthew Sinclair, research director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "This shows that many politicians still haven't learnt their lesson from the expenses crisis and that their commitment to transparency was never genuine."

The Commons recently disclosed the thousands of bookings MPs have made in recent years on behalf of third parties from which some MPs have benefited financially. Tory leader David Cameron plans to cut subsidised dining for politicians if the Conservatives win the General Election.

He has accused the government of wasting millions of pounds of public money funding a cushy lifestyle for politicians'.

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