De Jong: European Parliament must keep better accounts of its own spending

17 April 2013

De Jong: European Parliament must keep better accounts of its own spending

The European Parliament today voted on the European Union institutions’ accountability for their expenditure, which of course includes spending by the European Parliament. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong describes the failure to require accounts for the whole of European Parliament spending as ‘unacceptable’. Most importantly, the lack of accountability for MEPs’ own spending from so-called general expenses is an embarrassment. 'It’s inexplicable that the EU is imposing strict spending cuts on everyone else, while Euro-MPs are dead set against transparency regarding their own expenditure,’ says De Jong. ‘I’ve presented a proposal which would mean that MEPs would have our spending from our general expenses monitored annually. That this proposal was rejected by a slender majority is extremely disappointing.’

Dennis de JongThe SP did receive the parliament’s support for an enquiry into the salaries and expenses of EU officials. ‘The social democrats tried to prevent the carriage of this resolution but the EP gave broad support to my proposal for an enquiry,’ says De Jong. ‘This enquiry must make it clear whether the differences between the salaries of national civil servants and EU officials remain during these times.’

As for MEPs’ expenses, there are many instances of a complete lack of transparency. A Euro-MP gets a gross salary of €8000 and in addition various expenses reimbursements, such as a daily allowance of €304 for attending meetings in Brussels or Strasbourg. In addition there’s a monthly general expenses reimbursement of €4300 per month for which no receipts are required nor any form of account demanded.’

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