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Increased allowance a scandal, says MEP

Friday, 29th January 2010

MEPs on the European Parliament’s budgets committee have voted to increase MEPs’ monthly allowances for staffing. Roger Helmer, East Midlands MEP, believes this is a scandalous decision by the budgets committee. Mr Helmer is not a member of this committee and could therefore not vote on this decision.

Currently, MEPs receive £15,000 per month for the cost of employing assistants in Brussels and their constituencies. The budgets committee has approved an increase in this allowance on the claim that under the Lisbon Treaty MEPs will have more responsibilities and a need to employ more staff.

This decision will cost European taxpayers an estimated extra £11.5 million.

Mr Helmer comments from Brussels:

“Existing allowances are perfectly adequate, and I expect to be under spent this year. The Lisbon Treaty has not created any significant extra work-load.

“While everyone else is tightening their belts, it's time for MEPs to do the same.”