February 10th, 2013 • The European Parliament today voted to maintain the full range of reimbursements and perks for Members.
SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong, commenting on the vote, says: “Today MEPs had a chance to show that they are not totally uncomprehending when it comes to the people who due to the crisis are confronted by growing poverty. Instead of cutting back on their countless allowances they’re hanging on to their privileges. This is the worst possible public relations for the Parliament. Happily support for my proposals does grow every year. I’m determined to keep the question of the allowances on the agenda, because it’s appalling to see the luxury that Euro-MPs wallow in, while for example in Spain 300.000 people have been evicted from their homes and have to sleep on the street.’
The SP Euro-MP has made various proposals for cuts in the numerous perks. 'Every MEP gets for example a monthly €4,300 in general expenses, with no need to provide receipts. I want to see tight monitoring on spending and MEPs obliged to repay excess moneys. Personally I return some €30,000 and there’s a potential annual saving of €20 million.'
In addition to these proposals, the SP has put forward other suggestions as to where spending cuts could be found. 'Euro-MPs wants to keep their private chauffeur service, although you can get around just as easily on public transport or in a taxi,’ argues De Jong. ‘That would mean they would have to get out amongst the people for once. In addition, Euro-MPs get for every day they attend a meeting some €300 and a “distance allowance” of €70, which is a double reimbursement and could be scrapped.’