February 8, 2013

Telegraph runs “Shock, horror!” story about UK government’s wine budget

Filed under: Britain, Government, Media, Wine — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 09:12

I’m a minarchist: I’m in favour of much smaller, less intrusive government. Even saying that, I can’t find it in my heart to get upset about this “shocking” revelation:

Ministers fail to balance books at £3million wine cellar
Ministers and guests have got through 5,000 bottles of alcohol worth more than £55,000 in the last year, report into the Government’s wine cellar has revealed.

[. . .]

The latest annual report into the Government’s wine cellar has revealed that ministers, officials and their guests got through nearly 5,000 bottles of alcohol worth more than £55,000 in the last year.

In total, the cellar holds 38,000 bottles costing £857,000 when bought, but are now valued on the open market at £2,953,000.

Some of the taxpayer-funded bottles are sold in shops for more than £1,000 each.

Guests at Government events drank 23 bottles of the 1982 Chateau Margaux Bordeaux, which sells for up to £1,100 a bottle.

Five thousand bottles? That’s all? David Cameron’s cabinet consists of 22 senior ministers. I assume there are junior ministers or parliamentary assistants for most of those ministers, so let’s call it 50 men and women who are entertaining on government business and would be drawing from the official wine cellar. Even if each of them only entertains one other person at each event, that’s roughly two bottles of wine per minister per week.

The Queen drinks more than that by herself!

And the eye-popping number of £857,000? That works out to less than £23 per bottle. And we’re told that some of the bottles could sell on the open market for £1,100 a bottle. But based on the figures, there can’t be very many of those ultra-expensive bottles, can there?

I fail to see a scandal here…

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