There is indeed such a thing as a free lunch.
Families struggling to keep their households fed will be interested to know cabinet ministers — who earn $350,000 a year and upwards — eat quite well without having to touch their wallets.
The taxpayer makes sure of that.
In fact it was one of the first changes made by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull when he was elevated to the top job.
An official from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet told a Senate estimates inquiry that during cabinet meetings ministers were offered a choice of hot meals, salads, sandwiches and snacks. The same fare appeared at cabinet committee meetings.
They used to be charged for it, but no more. That practice ended when Trumble became Prime Minister.
Under the previous system, a trust was established with contributions by cabinet ministers to cover catering costs.
For example, in 2000 the prime minister kicked in $59 a month and ministers contributed $35.
Even then the contributions, deducted from ministers’ private bank accounts, only covered half the catering costs.
But the scheme disappeared in September 2015 — the month Trumble claimed the leadership.