De Jong: Dutch Euro-MPs should open their accounts to the public

28 October 2013

De Jong: Dutch Euro-MPs should open their accounts to the public

The European Parliament today voted on the EU budget for 2014. Also voted on was an amendment from the SP enforcing openness from MEPs in regard to their spending. This proposal was rejected.

Dennis de JongSP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong explains: ‘This was the last chance before the elections for Members to be open about their monthly general expenses allowance of €4200. It’s very sad that most MEPs continue to refuse to show their receipts. Happily the number who want to put an end to this practice is growing, but it’s very difficult to explain to voters that in his or her term of office a Euro-MP can receive in total some €250,000 in reimbursements without anyone knowing what the money has been used for.’

Dutch Euro-MPs did support the SP proposal. ‘This is of course positive,’ says De Jong, ‘but the SP would like to go further. If we can’t succeed in having openness from the whole European Parliament, then we could at least expect Dutch MEPs to open their books to the public prior to the elections. I shall myself ask for a declaration of accounts and put this on the SP’s website, and I call on all of my colleagues from the Netherlands to do the same.’

Euro-MPs receive, in addition to their monthly salary, various expense payments, for example for attending meetings in Brussels and Strasbourg, for office costs and for general expenses. ‘Of course not every MEP pockets this €4,200 per month, but openness over this is the minimum that we could be enforcing,’ argues De Jong. ‘As things stand, they can spend it on an extension to their villa, call it office space, and pay for it out of their allowance without having to produce receipts.’

Dennis de Jong returns an annual s €30.000 in expenses received but not spent.

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