Champagne sales in the House of Lords rose to the highest level for five years last year; the report has caused quite a stir as the country is grappling with a cost of living crisis at the moment
A new report has revealed that in 2023, the House of Lords in Britain reportedly spent £90,000 (Rs 94,68,144 roughly) on champagne, marking the highest in the last five years. This information was brought to light by the Scottish National Party, under a Freedom of Information request and it showed that in 2023, a total of 1,589 bottles of champagne were purchased for the House of Lords, at a total cost of £88,987.90. Each bottle of champagne was reportedly sold at 56 pounds. This number is slightly higher than the 2022 total, which was £85,462.51.
The new data has caused quite a stir across Britain as the country is grappling with a cost of living crisis. The House of Lords is the unelected lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and is essentially a revising chamber, offering expertise, experience, and scrutiny to proposed legislation.
A spokesperson for the House of Lords, however, has said that all the champagne sold at House of Lords was sold at a profit. “Most of the champagne sold by the House of Lords is bought by visitors in the gift shop and consumed away from parliament by members of the public, or sold at banqueting events to organisations or individuals hosting the event in the House of Lords,” the spokesperson added. “It is not paid for by the taxpayer.”
The new data, however, is earning the House of Lords some criticism from public and opposition bodies, particularly The SNP, which has no representatives in the House of Lords due to its opposition to the unelected second chamber.
SNP MP Tommy Sheppard said, “Voters will be fizzing to hear that while they were struggling to balance household finances and pay for basics like groceries and energy, unelected Lords were glugging back champagne. “
"The past year has been defined by Westminster’s cost-of-living crisis that has seen living standards plummet and countless more households pushed into poverty and deprivation – a reality alien to the Lords’ and their lavish lifestyles," he added.