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Friday, January 29, 2010

ridiculously generous

MEPs on the European Parliament's Budget Committee voted on Wednesday to award themselves an extra €1,500 and to hire an additional 150 staff. MEPs say they're in desperate need of more money because the Lisbon Treaty is now in force which means more work for them. In total, MEPs can already cash in on some £360,000 year in pay and allowances. For most people this seems like an incredibly generous amount - but not for the MEPs themselves apparently. The increase will cost taxpayers an extra €13.3 million a year and send the EP's total annual budget past the €1.6 billion mark.

Just like EU bureaucrats' recent über-insensitive demand for a 3.7% pay rise - now awaiting a decision in the Courts - this latest display of the money-hungry culture prevailing in Brussels will not go down well with taxpayers or voters. Nor will this document, published before the EP Budgetary Control committee's meeting, showing how MEPs squander public money. Amongst various spending items, it reveals that the EP last year spent €2.3million to renovate its own sports centre, €4.3million on a new visitor centre (although it already has one), hundreds of thousands of pounds on gas-guzzling cars (some emitting as much 260 CO2 g/km - fighting climate change anyone?) and a staggering €8.8 million on repairing a ceiling that collapsed in the Strasbourg Parliament (which reinforces the stupidity and wastefulness of having a Strasbourg Parliament in the first place). As a side, the document also reveals that the EP lost 54,000 in sick days in 2008.

Although, to be fair, since the new Members' Statute came into effect last year, MEPs do not receive this assistants allowance directly anymore, with assistants being paid directly from the European Parliament's budget. However, this should not detract from the patently ridiculous amount of expenses and allowances available to MEPs.

The editor of the European Voice, Tim King, yesterday summed up why taxpayers and voters have the right to feel very unhappy about this whole affair:

For 40 years, a near-secret agreement has governed how the three main institutions of the European Union divide up administrative spending. That agreement should be brought into the harsh light of day. It should then be ripped up and replaced.
He notes that while the principle behind the agreement is itself not stupid, "what is stupid is the corollary that went with that principle: an agreement that the Parliament would be guaranteed a 20% share of the administrative budget."

He goes on,

Forty years on, it is obvious to many outside observers that the Parliament has more money than it knows what to do with. The Parliament may have set up a temporary committee on the economic crisis, but it is otherwise unscathed by Europe's economic difficulties. Although the Parliament is very fond of climbing into its pulpit to criticise the misuse of EU money when that money is managed by national administrations or the European Commission, it is much less outspoken about the misuse of money under its own palatial (albeit occasionally collapsing) roofs.
He points to the internal 2008 report (that MEPs voted to keep secret) which revealed widespread abuse of allowances in the EP, MEPs' immoral second pensions scheme and other questionable perks and practices.

He concludes,

Now the Parliament's leadership is drawing up its 2010 budget and is struggling to stay within a 20% share of the total spending on administration. Laughably, the MEPs are describing their 20% slice of the pie as 'the long-standing self-imposed limit', not noticing that the description is inherently contradictory: if the 20% was not ridiculously generous, it would not have been 'self-imposed' for so long. The truth is that it is not a meaningful constraint, so MEPs and their officials have been more than happy to live with it...It is scarcely credible that an agreement that dates back to when there were only six member states should remain in place, unquestioned, unexamined.


Charlotte Bull said...

We are ruled by these greedy, arrogant pirates! They don't care about what we think about the changes they impose upon us because they know their regulations are all but anonymous.

Nor do they care about what we think about their pay rise- not being subject to accountability and democratic forces.

I can't understand why we must all ignore the E.U. like a big bunch of spineless wimps and not join UKIP and be shot of the lot of them!

Charlotte Bull said...

I've left two comments, both instantly wiped away when I've pressed the 'Publish your Comment' bar.!!!GRRR

David Barneby said...

How would it be if the British people completely boycotted the European elections , so that Britain did not send any MEPs to Brussels . Our former MEPs would all find themselves out of a job .
Little could be lost by us all voting UKIP and Britain leaving the European Union altogether .

jimkerr said...

Who is interested in these MEP parasites? Where do you find them and there is on for every opposite number in the HP?
We know from recent exposure that our home MP's have been robbing us for years now on the expense front alone, but what on earth are MEPs up to . How do they justify earning and being able to steal more than the home front breed.
Would it be possible to post on your site what the MEPs salaries are made up of, for example is it true that they receive the right to first class air ticket to UK every week and for family ?
When are the British public going to wake up and just say NO ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Piggies in the EU said...

It would seem that the trough is still not large enough for their snouts to fit, how much money can they try to spend? they do forget that WE are held to ransom and forced to pay excessive fees for these piggies to pig -out on and waste as much of the peoples 'Hard earned' cash as possible,they must know that they are 'overpaid' and the lifestyle they give themselves is just "Over the top", please come back to reality and remember that WE deserve Better.

Anonymous said...

How can the people of Europe let these shysters get away with treating us this way?. It is us who pay for all the rubbish they keep churning out. The amount of money they waste, and we don't know how much because each year accounts are not closed.They are all criminals who are there for thier own benefit. We must get out of Europe. [the eu.]

Piggies in the EU said...

Hi Charlotte Bull, just like you I sent comments of the greedy piggies of EU and my comments also have not appeared either HMMMMMMM!

Gosport Tory said...

I agree with Charlotte Bull. It is only a matter of time before the British people wake up to the huge sums of money squandered each year supporting the EU Gravytrain and French, etc peasant farmers. If we cannot get a Tory to lead the Conservative Party instead of Cameron then we will have no option but to vote UKIP at the next election

topcat said...

Any one with a modicum of common sence must now vote for the UKIP in the forthcoming general election. Cameron and his party are not the answer for the Great British people.

IanMac said...

Personally I would not care if they were to pay themselves GBP10,000,00 a year provided our government were to extricate us immediately from the most immoral and corrupt system of government which has ever been enforced on the citizens of Europe.
The fact that politicans in the UK continue to support this system is evidence of their own greed and corruption and that they are no longer fit for purpose.
The are traitors who look after their own interests and not those of the electorate.
I urge everyone to vote for politicians who will act in our interests and end this folly.

Anonymous said...

Spot on Charlotte Bull.The Eu's financial profligacy and incompetence will ultimately be its undoing. However with Gordon Brown's similar mismanagement of the UK's finances we cannot afford to wait for the collapse of the pack of cards.
David Cameron are you listening? We want a referendum on our membership of this useless dictatorship.
Colin Milligan

Gosport Tory said...

I would not hold your breath for Cameron to listen to the electorate as he is so breath takingly arrogant that he does not even listen to his MPs or party membership! He is so different to the socialists and liberal socialists who are content to let this EU gravy train rumble on unaccountable to nobody!!

Anonymous said...

This makes depressing reading But please tell me exactly what can I do urgently to do something to put an end to this vast waste of money.Do I write to my M. P.? Do I ignore voting for a M.E.P.?

Gosport Tory said...

Oops finger trouble. My last should have read that Cameron is NO different to the socialists and liberal socialists