Staff catering discount scheme recommended by union wins support from House Administration Committee

Branch Secretary Louise Haigh

The union branch has welcomed support for their proposal to introduce a catering discount/loyalty scheme for MPs’ staff from the House of Commons Administration Committee.

In its report on catering and retail services in the House of Commons, the Committee recommended the Catering and Retail Service introduce “a staff loyalty or discount scheme to benefit the lower paid staff of Members and the House, with the specific intention of encouraging back customers who appear to have been lost as a result of the price increases”.

The staff loyalty scheme was recommended by the union branch in both written and oral evidence submitted to the enquiry. The union branch argued that MPs’ staff had been disproportionately affected by the recent catering price increases, as average salaries are low and have been depressed further by IPSA’s cuts to staffing budgets.

The branch gave evidence that MPs’ staff were increasingly purchasing their lunch off the Estate and recommended the introduction of a staff loyalty or discount scheme to bring them back by making food on the Estate more affordable.

Branch Secretary Louise Haigh, who gave oral evidence to the Committee said:

We are very pleased the Administration Committee listened to the arguments we put forward on behalf of all MPs’ staff and have supported our recommendation to introduce a staff loyalty scheme.

MPs’ staff have been hit hard by the recent catering price increases as the majority of us are on low incomes. We showed the Committee evidence that many of our members were not using the House catering services anymore and suggested the only way to bring them back was to introduce a discount or loyalty scheme.

These schemes work well in the private sector and there is no reason MPs’ staff should not also have access to a loyalty scheme. We will be writing to both the Administration Committee and Catering and Retail Services to make sure MPs’ staff have a strong voice in the development of the scheme and our members are kept up to date on its progress.

Read more in this ePolitix article by Tony Grew.

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