MENU
EU Economics

Great EU gravy train exposed as hundreds pocket taxpayer cash on offices which don’t exist

THOUSANDS of pounds of European Union (EU) taxpayers’ money are going straight into politicians’ coffers as MEPs are not using office allowances, an investigation has found.

As well as the £3,783 handed to them by the EU for an office space, MEPs are paid £7,392 a month – £88,704 annually – and get £21,057 to spend on office staff.They also receive £267.50 a day for “daily subsistence” such as food and drink.And keeping track of their extravagance is difficult as the EU politicians do not have to declare their expenses.

MEPGETTY        Many MEPs are not using their office allowance for work space


There is a level of hypocrisy on the financial management score that we find is quite astounding

Nick Aiossa, Transparency International

A total of 249 offices out of the potential 748 do not exist or could not be found.And only 133 current MEPs across the 28 member states revealed to the team what they pay in office rent.And 249 said they either have no offices or refused to reveal their addresses, or their locations could not be found, while 19 said they work from home.
 

As well as not having to declare spending, there also does not appear to be a definitive set of rules as to how allowances should be spent, with MEPs interpreting how to use the cash differently.

Some told the project they used the entire office allowance for office equipment, internet subscriptions and other work-related costs.

Others used their “general expenditure” on travel expenses for visitors, charity donations and national party payments.

The issue gets even more complicated when MEPs own the office buildings themselves, which has happened in Germany where eight MEPs from different political parties own their building.Manfred Weber, chairman of the European Union Parliament’s biggest group, the centre-right EPP, is one MEP who owns his own office.The office is based in an annex at his private home in a village in Bavaria, which is miles from more populated areas.MEPs are also sub-renting offices from their own local political party branches, with 38 confirming their offices were in that situation.

Some politicians transfer their entire EU allowance to their national party – which under Brussels rules is not allowed.Many MEPs refused to answer the project’s questions, with Poland being the worst country as all 51 MEPs failed to reply.

PolandGetty            In Poland, none of its 51 MEPs would reveal how they spend their GEA


Marjory Van Den Broke, an EU Parliament spokeswoman, said: “Renting an office is one of the expenditures covered by the General Expenditure Allowance. This is a lump sum that – as a principle – is not controlled by the European Parliament.“An MEP may indeed rent an office from a national political party, provided certain conditions are respected and the rent is at market price, in order to prevent an indirect financing of the national party.“Moreover, the office should be used solely for the exercise of the European mandate. As such, the office should be separate from other offices and clearly marked as one for European Parliament work. It can also not be used by other people or for other purposes. Those are all the conditions that have to be respected.”

Manfred WeberGetty          German, chairman of the EPP, is one MEP which uses his own house as an office


She admitted the parliament has no way of knowing if the conditions are being respected as MEPs are handed a lump sum and do not need to hand in any invoices or bills.Most MEPs do not declare expenses, however some do, including the European Conservatives.The party says their MEPs must declare costs and they use it as a way of controlling their spending.
The Green/EFA group will have to return any unspent GEA funds to the European Parliament and provide receipts from July onwards, the party decided this year.Nick Aiossa, EU policy officer at Transparency International, said: “I could never imagine MEPs giving out 40 million a year to member states for cohesion policy, without one receipt.“There is a level of hypocrisy on the financial management score that we find is quite astounding.”
http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/812183/European-Union-MEP-expenses-taxpayer-cash-offices-not-exist

Leave a Reply

1 Comment on "Great EU gravy train exposed as hundreds pocket taxpayer cash on offices which don’t exist"

Help put the World to rights and leave a Comment

Jane Davies
Guest

Why am I not surprised that many refused to answer these questions, how dare they not account for taxpayers hard earned money when those very taxpayers are suffering the affects of years of imposed and unnecessary austerity. These people are nothing but thieves and is it any surprise that the EU has not had it’s accounts signed off for decades. My contempt for this corrupt band of crooks and liars knows no bounds.

wpDiscuz
MENU
Powered by: Wordpress
%d bloggers like this: