Euro-MPs look after their own

21 March 2012

Euro-MPs look after their own

The European Parliament Committee on Budgetary Control this morning discussed the Parliament’s 2013 spending plans. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong: ‘This Committee’s proposal that the constant flitting between Brussels and Strasbourg be ended is a fine step, but it’s extraordinarily hypocritical of the Members of the EP to refuse to put an end to their own exorbitant expense payments. In addition to an enormous salary MEPs receive expense payment which overlap, such as the daily allowance and the allowance for distance from home, or those which are not expected to be reimbursement for sensible spending, as is the case for office costs. That allowance could certainly be lowered somewhat and made more transparent.”

Dennis de JongExpenses
In January De Jong was in the news following a letter to a Dutch website in which he gave an account of the wide range of expenses which MEPs can claim. The letter attracted hundreds of messages of support, urging that the matter be addressed. ‘It’s clear that the public quite rightly doesn’t have a good word to say about these expenses,’ says De Jong. ‘All the more troubling, then, that my proposals gained hardly any support in the European Parliament. At next week’s plenary session I’m going to ask for a roll-call vote on this, so that everyone will be able to see who voted for my proposals and who didn’t.’

Salaries of officials
Other possible spending cuts were discussed at yesterday’s session of the Budgetary Control Committee. De Jong made proposals for addressing the question of the salaries and allowances paid to officials, which, he says, ‘are quite out of step with what a civil servant in the Netherlands earns. I want to see them brought back to parity, so in the next few years those of the EU officials should be frozen and an end must be put to the so-called “expatriation bonus” of 18% on top of the salary. It’s crazy that someone who spends his or her entire working life in Brussels gets an annual bonus to help them “settle in” there! My proposal that it be reduced to 10% and limited to two years did not win the committee’s support.’ The SP also believes that the number of days’ annual leave should also be reduced from the current maximum of sixty-seve

You are here