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As reported last year, a considerable amount of controversy was followed by the inevitable backlash when it was revealed that it is members of the house who would determine the price of food and drinks for sale in the cafe bars of Congress in Madrid. Now, the company awarded the contract, Eurest, has decided to take action themselves and almost double the price of spirits at the bar.

It was in May, 2013, when we reported “As part of the terms of providing the service of a café and bar in Congress, the members get to set their own prices”, on account of them having to “work odd hours depending on the demand of the house”. The end result was that the “customers” decided the price of 85 cents for a coffee or a full breakfast for just 1.05. Then there was the famed tipple of a Gin and Tonic, where the price was set at 3.45 euro, all in, with the more luxurious spirits, such as seven year old Havana Rum, a snip at just 5.65€.

It was no surprise to the more intelligent of society that this decision would be frowned upon as more and more families were struggling to find work, pay their bills and even eat. In June, we followed up the story after the equivalent of the Speaker of the House, Jesús Posada, admitted that the controversy had resulted in a “change of mind”, and, although it not entirely a success, the board unanimously agreed the proposal put by Posada for alcoholic drinks to be excluded from the subsidised price list, and so the new contractor was free to set any price they choose for these drinks, whilst light refreshments and food will still be dictated by the maximum price agreed.

And so, it has this week been revealed, that as the country woke on the 1st of January to increased fuel bills, higher prescription charges, and the general tightening of family budgets too, the members of the Congress also met with an increase of their own, as the company used the agreed rights to change the prices and put the cost of spirits up to 6 euro, almost doubling the price, in order to “bring the cost in line with the market”.

Though many would say that the price of such drinks in a prime location in the capital would be much higher, at least we can rest a little easier in the knowledge that our politicians may now get a taste of what the real world feels like when taxes prices continue to increase without us being able to do anything about it.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/42501/

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