Brits have endured years of austerity budgets since the global economy took a turn, and prime minister David Cameron has sought to reign in his country's deficit through public penny-pinching.
But try telling that to the House of Lords.
Westminster's upper house – which still contains 92 hereditary peers, people who inherited their position by virtue of their birth – has become a parody of its own posh stereotype by publicly favouring champagne over cost-cutting.
The Observer reported that the peers rejected a proposal to save money by merging their catering department with lowly MPs from the House of Commons "because the Lords feared that the quality of champagne would not be as good if they chose a joint service".
The revelation by former clerk of the Commons Sir Malcolm Jack came last week during a governance committee examining Westminster's operations, and was reportedly met with "gasps and open laughter".
The chair of the governance committee, Jack Straw, could barely believe what he had heard. "Did you make that up? Is that true?" he asked, to which Jack responded that it was indeed so.
According to The Observer, the House of Lords has purchased more than 17,000 bottles of champagne since 2010, at a cost of more than $400,000.
Needless to say, the news has not gone down well with non-champagne aficionados of British public, causing many people to spit out their lesser vintages in shock and disgust.
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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