Almost £18,000 has been spent topping up the Government wine cellar since the General Election, it has emerged - leading to calls today that the entire collection should be sold off to raise money.Do they really need almost a million quids worth of plonk? Is Douglas Hogg planning on filling his moat with it, or does George Osborne want his own personal wine lake to go boating on?
Foreign Office minister Henry Bellingham revealed that Government Hospitality, which manages the cellar, had spent £17,698 on new stock since May 6 - bringing the total value to £864,000 - though he insisted the standard practice of buying wines young saved money for the taxpayer.
But with public sector pay and pensions set to be squeezed in Tuesday's Budget as ministers seek further cuts to deal with the £155 billion deficit, Labour former Cabinet Office minister Tom Watson called on the coalition to sell off its fine wines to prove "we're all in this together". (1)
Astonishing that these smug arses will spunk money on bloody grape juice while canceling free school meals and swimming lessons. Arrogant two-faced scum.
The Tories seem happy to impose austerity on the rest of us while quaffing all this fermented grape juice. If they weren't cutting free swimming lessons, free school meals, programs to get people off the dole, industry stimulus packages, hiking up VAT, then maybe it wouldn't stink so ripely.
But they're buying themselves enough wine to float HMS Victory in, cutting business taxes, limiting Capital Gains Tax because having it at the same rate as other income is taxed would be somehow unfair, and generally behaving like you'd expect Tories to behave.
For a Conservative administration that was elected on a lot of hysterical squealing about uncontrolled spending and debt crisis, it's just vomitous hypocrisy. We'll have the wine, at your expense, but you paupers can't get so much as a plate of cold chips in the school canteen.
I don't actually have a problem with them spending a bit of money on decent wine per se, but I do have a problem with the people that were howling about debt mountains and deficits, and how Britain was going the same way as Greece and public spending had to be cut NOW.
Still, at least there will be something nice in the trough for them to snout up.
1 - "Government spends £18,000 topping up wine cellar," by Craig Woodhouse. Originally published by the Press Association, reprosuced in The Independent, 19th of June, 2010. (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/government-spends-pound18000-topping-up-wine-cellar-2005067.html)