The Dom Post reports:
A meal at Bellamys – Parliament’s exclusive MPs dining room – costs about as much as a meal at a popular budget restaurant chain.
The recession has sparked fresh debate about Parliament’s in-house catering service being subsidised by taxpayers; it gets a $300,000 subsidy, though the full extent of the subsidy is worth about $600,000, according to Treasury papers.
That is once buildings, facilities, systems and management fees are taken into account.
Parliamentary Service argues that removing the subsidy would raise prices and lower demand.
Its menu shows that prices are on a par with popular family restaurant chain Valentines, at between $23 and $29 for a main, though side dishes are extra.
The price is not the only common factor between Bellamys and Valentines – the quality of the food is similiar also.
My long standing preference is to replace Bellamys with a food court. You could have a sushi bar, a sandwich outlet, a McDonalds, a Chinese outlet and MPs and staff would patronise the ones that provide decent food for them. Competition is what is needed.