MPs' appetite for champagne has not been affected by the coalition's austerity programme, as parliamentary officials bought in increasingly larger numbers of bottles each year to replenish the House of Commons' stock.
House of Commons officials revealed that they have spent £275,221 buying in more than 25,000 bottles of champagne since the coalition took over in May 2010, which MPs and their staff can enjoy in Parliament's bars and restaurants.
The details were revealed in response to a Freedom of Information request from the Huffington Post UK.
The House of Commons currently has 582 bottles of champagne in stock, at a total worth of £6,513, with officials buying substantially bigger amounts each time to replenish their supplies.
The range of drink officials bought in for MPs to enjoy ranges like Taittinger, Lenoble and the House of Commons' own-brand champagnes, Zonin prosecco and the English sparkling wines Herbert Hall and Camel Valley.
Officials bought in 4,691 bottles in 2010, with the number rising by over 1,000 each year to finally reach 8,082 in 2013, a 72% rise. The House of Commons has a total of £41,077.51 of wine and champagne in its stocks, according to the figures.
Number of bottles bought by the House of Commons
|Year||Number of bottles|
Conservative Party Leader David Cameron finishes a pint of Guinness at the Three Suga Loaves following the second live televised debate between the three leaders of Britain's main political parties, in Bristol, south-west England on April 22, 2010. Cameron won an instant poll following the debate. Britain's main party leaders squared up for a second pre-election TV debate Thursday, with all eyes on whether Nick Clegg can repeat the star turn that won his opposition Liberal Democrats a stunning poll surge. AFP PHOTO / Adrian Dennis / WPA POOL (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne holds up a pint of beer during a visit to officially re-open The Red Lion pub, following a major refurbishment in Westminster, central London, February 25, 2014. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Kirsty Wigglesworth (Photo credit should read KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/AFP/Getty Images)
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg enjoys a pint at the Nags Head in Malvern, Worcestershire, during a General Election Campaign visit to the region.
Conservative party leader William Hague (right) enjoys a pint of beer with shadow Agriculture minister Michael Jack, during his visit to London's Smithfield Meat Market. * 08/08/00 William Hague has revealed to GQ magazine that he used to drink up to 14 pints of beer a day when he was a teenager. As a schoolboy, the future Tory leader had a holiday job delivering soft drinks and beer to working men's clubs in South Yorkshire for his father's business, Hague's Soft Drinks. He told the magazine that, as the driver's mate, he used to have a pint at every stop.
Conservative Party leader William Hague enjoys a half pint of Guinness during his visit to the Castlecourt shopping mall in Belfast City Centre. 8/6/01: Hague dramatically announced that he was to quit as Tory leader after his party's heavy election defeat. * In a keenly awaited statement outside Conservative Central Office, Hague said he would step down as leader of the party when a successor can be elected. Mr Portillo is likely to be one of the contenders for the position. * 08/08/00 William Hague has revealed to GQ magazine that he used to drink up to 14 pints of beer a day when he was a teenager. As a schoolboy, the future Tory leader had a holiday job delivering soft drinks and beer to working men's clubs in South Yorkshire for his father's business, Hague's Soft Drinks. He told the magazne that, as the driver's mate, he used to have a pint at every stop.
Andy Burnham MP drinks a bottle of Chang beer after running from his home in Leigh, to Goodison Park as part of his training for the London marathon.
Home Secretary Alan Johnson enjoys a drink during a visit to Eastwood in Nottinghamshire.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond takes a look round the new 3m tour of the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, after officially opening the attraction.
London Mayor Boris Johnson enjoys a pint of Greene King's Abbot Ale at the King's Arms pub on Tooley St in London, to celebrate National Cask Ale Week and to urge people to support their local pub.
The Bank of England recently revealed that its officials had been buying in much more wine and champagne in the year that Mark Carney took over as governor.
Bank officials spent over £4,126.56 on 444 bottles of wine and champagne in 2012, with the bill increasing to £7,990.20 for 756 bottles the following year. However, even the 756 peak is dwarfed by how much the House of Commons orders in.
The rising demand for champagne comes as Parliament's bars have come under increasing scrutiny as MPs and their staff are able to enjoy taxpayer-subsidized drink. Then Labour MP Eric Joyce was arrested in 2012 after headbutting a Tory during a Commons bar fight.
Here's what the House of Commons currently has in its reserves
Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance said: "Given the message of fiscal responsibility emanating from Westminster, taxpayers would expect the number of champagne bottled purchased to be going down, not up.
“With budgets tight and savings to be found the last thing Parliament needs to worry about is restocking the wine cellar. Parliament hosts many important dignitaries, but with food and booze still subsidised at taxpayers’ expense, tolerance for bills for expensive wine and champagne is in short supply, unlike the drinks.
"The Parliamentary authorities need to get a better deal for taxpayers and cut out wasteful spending.”
A House of Commons spokesman said: “The House has seen an increased number of commercial banqueting events involving external customers in recent years.
"While 2010/11 was an election year when catering activity levels were lower than usual, the increasing trend is to sell more receptions than dinner events which attract higher number of guests and is the reason for increased consumption and sales in alcohol. To accommodate this increase in demand, banqueting has increased its order of champagne stocks.”