Euro-MPs refuse to cut their own budget

29 March 2012

Euro-MPs refuse to cut their own budget

SP proposals to prune the European Parliament’s budget were today rejected. Commenting on the result, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong said ‘Throughout Europe we’re seeing spending cuts, except for within the European Parliament itself. I proposed taking a firmer grip on MEPs’ spending and put a stop to double reimbursements. I note that it was those with the loudest voices in favour of cuts in their own country, such as our own two ruling parties the Christian Democrats and the Liberals of the VVD who voted against these proposed economies.’

Double reimbursements concern above all travel expenses, as De Jong explains. ‘If for example I go to Strasbourg, my train ticket is reimbursed. In addition I have the right to a daily allowance on days when there are meetings of €304. And lastly I can claim the so-called ‘distance reimbursement’, because I am away from my home and usual workplace. In my view this is a double reimbursement for the same costs and getting rid of it would certainly enable savings.’ De Jong also points to the fact that yet another allowance is available, this time for ‘general costs’ of up to €4234 per month which is subject to virtually no monitoring, something which he says is ‘impossible to explain to the taxpayer’.

De Jong also proposed abolishing the European Parliament’s annual journalism prize, a decision which has already been taken on paper by the Parliament but which continues to be ignored. ‘The Members who voted against my proposal to bury this prize once and for all must have been subject to memory blackouts,’ De Jong concludes.

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