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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Lisbon Treaty = even more cash for MEPs

Amid all thee excitement over the EU bureaucrats' demands for an inflation-busting 3.7% payrise smack in the middle of the worst recession since the 1930s, Bruno Waterfield at the Telegraph brings us news that according to an internal document seen by the paper European Parliament officials have proposed a 9 percent increase in the partliamentary assistance allowance, taking it to £203,000 in 2010. It is also understood that staff expenses will be further increased by another £16,000 in 2011, taking the total annual allowance to almost £220,000.

Why? Because EP officials reckon all the extra cash is needed as a result of the Lisbon Treaty.

Don't forget this is on top of the "general expenditure allowance" worth over £44,000 that MEPs can pocket without having to provide any receipts. While working in Brussels or Strasbourg, MEPs also trouser a £265 cash subsistence payment, worth over £40,000 tax-free every year.

And with the expected 3.7% salary rise, an MEP will earn almost £86,000 a year.


Julien Frisch said...

What does this have to do with the Lisbon Treaty?

Open Europe blog team said...

Good question! That's the excuse the EP officials are using for the increase in expenses. They reckon more work (presumably as a result of the extension of co-decision) = more money.

Precisely the kind of problem we predicted with the Lisbon Treaty. Does absoultely nothing to bring the waste, expense and bureaucracy under control, and if anything, just allows it all to get much worse.

Anonymous said...

Forget the Lisbon treaty...What do British MEPs have to say about this?!!

Will they take the money, if indeed the proposal does go through?! (Nothing has yet been decided, afterall)

I guess if you were an MEP who opposed it, you'd have to decline to accept it..wouldn't you..

Open Europe blog team said...

Yes, good point - we'll keep an eye on that. Maybe name and shame as we have in the past... :-)

Anonymous said...

@ Julien Frisch: The additional money is being given to MEPs to assist them with the additional workload brought in by the Lisbon Treaty; eg additional competences given to the Parliament in Justice and Home Affairs, and the need for extra lawyers or legal training to interpret the new legislation. So that is what the connection is supposed to be. Whether you think the extra money is justified is another question.