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Growing conflict over MEPs' expenses

25 October 2018

Growing conflict over MEPs' expenses

On 24th October a clear majority in the European Parliament voted to back proposals from SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong which aim to put an end to the secrecy surrounding the general expenses reimbursement for MEPs. Welcoming the vote, De Jong said: “It's idiotic that while most Members are in agreement with the need for improved transparency and accountability in relation to the payment of the €4,400 which they receive each month for office expenses, the EP Bureau, which has responsibility for this, is refusing to implement their decision. So I'm pleased that the Bureau, under the leadership of the Parliament's president, will be called out on this, now that my resolution has been carried. Hopefully this means that the matter can be resolved by the time of the European elections.”

 

The concrete proposals put forward by De Jong and adopted by a majority vote are as follows:

  • an exhaustive list of items which MEPs may buy from their refundable expenses
  • obligation to set up a separate bank account into which refunded expenses will be paid
  • MEPs must keep all receipts which count against refundable expenses
  • any part of the sum paid for office expenses (the €4,400 per month) which is not spent and receipted must be returned to the EP.

“These are all matters which are completely normal for everyone,” said De Jong. “Reimbursement of expenses is not supposed to be additional income. It comes out of taxpayers' money and you have to account for it. That it has taken so long for the EP to push through these rules would be hard to explain to the voters.”

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