Bars in the House of Commons

Request

How many subsidised bars are there in the House of Commons and by how much are they subsidised.

Response

The House of Commons operates four venues that are entirely or substantially bar services: the Strangers’ Bar, the Members’ Smoking Room, the Pugin Room and Moncrieff’s.  Selling prices in the House of Commons bars are kept broadly in line with the prices charged in nearby pubs operated by a well-known high-street chain and, in this sense, the prices are not subsidised.

 

The House does not set a budget for the operation of each bar or other trading outlet, as many costs, including staff, are shared across several catering and retail outlets.  Instead, the House of Commons provides an agreed budget for the operation of its catering and retail services and management are tasked with delivering the agreed services within this financial provision.  The net cost of the House of Commons Catering and Retail Service met from public funds was £5.7m in 2009/10.   This figure includes profit from the sale of House of Commons souvenirs, which is included in the same accounts as the catering services.