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Unelected Lords guzzle champagne while hundreds of thousands are forced to turn to foodbanks

Unelected Lords drank hundreds of bottles of champagne over the last year – at a time when foodbank demand is rising.

Figures revealed under Freedom of Information show that bars and restaurants in the House of Lords sold 369 bottles of own-label champagne in 2017/18, with the luxury alcohol selling for £43 a bottle.

The House of Lords also sold 292 bottles of prosecco and 25 bottles of rose champagne.

Lords are entitled to £300 allowance for each day they turn up at Westminster.

A near empty food cupboard. Photo: Oxfam.

According to the FOI:

The total number of bottles of House of Lords Champagne NV purchased in the House of Lords in 2017/18 was 369.

The total number of bottles of House of Lords Rose Champagne purchased in the House of Lords in 2017/18 was 25.

The total number of bottles of House of Lords Prosecco purchased in the House of Lords in 2017/18 was 292.

Vauxhall Food Bank – photo credit: Newfrontiers via photopin cc

Commenting, SNP MSP Bill Kidd said: “The House of Lords is a democratic disgrace – with party donors and cronies given a say on our laws without the chance for voters to kick them out.

“It’ll stick in the craw of voters to hear that these unelected Lords are guzzling champagne and prosecco while others are struggling.

“The Lords are just one of the ways in which the Westminster system is archaic and out of touch – and they should be scrapped for good.”

Between 1st April 2017 and 31st March 2018, The Trussell Trust’s foodbank network distributed 1,332,952 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis, a 13% increase on the previous year. 484,026 of these went to children.

Read More: Foodbanks brace for busiest Christmas on record as benefit cuts plunge thousands into poverty

Photo credit: NEFATRON via photopin cc

Emma Revie, Chief Executive of The Trussell Trust, said: “As a nation we expect no one should be left hungry or destitute – illness, disability, family breakdown or the loss of a job could happen to any of us, and we owe it to each other to make sure sufficient financial support is in place when we need it most.

“It’s hard to break free from hunger if there isn’t enough money coming in to cover the rising cost of absolute essentials like food and housing.

“For too many people staying above water is a daily struggle. It’s completely unacceptable that anyone is forced to turn to a foodbank as a result.

“Universal Credit is the future of our benefits system. It’s vital we get it right, and ensure levels of payment keep pace with the rising cost of essentials, particularly for groups of people we know are already more likely to need a foodbank – disabled people, people dealing with an illness, families with children and single parents.”

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