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30 July 2004

Maximising your MEP expenses - A Guide

Thanks to Michael Mosbacher Director of the Social Affairs website (Now added to our sidebar links) and linked here, which has published this fascinating advice for new MEPs as to how to maximise their disgusting expenses for the very few (and usually wealth destroying) duties they ever actually undertake.


How to Maximise Your Expenses:

Advice to new Members of the European Parliament

The Social Affairs Unit is publishing on Monday a helpful guide for those Members newly elected to the European Parliament on June 10th - How to Maximise Your Expenses: Advice to New Members of the European Parliament*.

The guide records the four tax-free streams of income available to MEPs as 'expenses' in addition to their salaries – in the UK case – of £56,000. Firstly there is the travel allowance. Unlike what one might expect, this does not actually reimburse MEPs for the cost of their travel. MEPs merely have to hand in their boarding passes and a sum is paid according to kilometerage. In nearly all cases this amount is in excess of a full Business Class fare.

Then there is the attendance allowance of €262 (£180), widely known as the 'sign-on and sod-off' fee. In order to claim this it is merely necessary to sign on before 10am on any or all of the 155 days on which the European Parliament sits; there is no need to speak in a debate or even to stay. An MEP who signs on for every day Parliament is sitting will earn an extra €40,610 (£27,900) per year.

Thanks to the staff allowance, of £8,500 per month at current rates of exchange, an MEP can put his or her family on the payroll – around 70% of MEPs follow this advice. It is entirely up to the individual member how these choose to spend their staff allowance; no receipts are necessary and there is no audit.

Finally there is the general expenses allowance. This is meant to cover office expenses and the like. It amounts to £2,540 a month and again is not subject to audit. MEPs may, if they wish, have this paid directly into their bank account.

Such a generous interpretation of 'expenses' may go somewhere towards explaining why it costs over a million pounds to send an MEP to Brussels – more than two and a half times the cost of sending a British MP to Westminster,

28 July 2004

Mandelson arch-crawler according to the Socialist Worker!

This report gives the far left's view of the extraordinary Mandelson appointment to Brussels. Nothing could unite all political factions in unified disgust than this most cynical and thoroughly sordid appointment. The article may be read from here.

24 July 2004

EU Parliament - 'Waste of money'

The following is an extract from a report by German State Broadcaster Deutsche-Welle on the appalling waste of money that the EU Parliamentry travelling circus truly is, the full article is linked from here, and the following is taken from it:-

Concrete and glass monstrosity

In 1999, French claims to house the European Parliament literally became concrete, and Europe's largest parliamentary building was constructed at a cost of €500 million ($606 million) -- a massive glass palace with space enough for 750 MEPs, that would be in use only 42 days of every year.

"Pure wastefulness,"blustered Dutch socialist Michael van Hulten in a report published in May. The building costs over €200 million a year in upkeep and travel expenses for the 3,000 politicians and staff that make up the monthly caravan, his report noted

The newly elected MEP for the euroskeptic UK Independence Party, Robert Kilroy-Silk (photo), used his debut on the Strasbourg stage to rub salt in the wound of EU-devotees. Smiling cynically, Kilroy-Silk declared that, in addition to the Strasbourg building, the building in Brussels was also a waste of money, as plenary sessions there only take place 12 times a year. Otherwise, it's only committees or parliamentary groups that meet regularly, said the MEP, who's made no secret of his desire to "wreck" the European Parliament by exposing fraud and corruption.

23 July 2004

Mandelson Confirmed as Britain's next EU Commissioner!!!

The Evening Standard linked here confirms that instead of sewing mailbags as a caller to Five Live this morning believe should presently be this ex-minister's primary occupation, he will be earning £144,000-a-yearin his new post with a package of perks which includes a £24,000 housing and chauffeur allowance and £7,000 a year to spend on entertaining.

Worse of course, is the fact that this untrustworthy individual will be in the corrupt citadel of the EU, free to rule our lives by unaccountable edict with all the ensuing temptations such a post and position will be bound to offer.

A shameful day for Britain, a disgraceful day for Blair and a black day for all the twenty-five ex-nations of the EU.

Twice Disgraced Former Minister for top British EU Post

What could be more fitting? Peter Mandelson, linked here the twice thoroughly shamed but always unabashed former minister and close crony of Prime Minister Blair is set to be appointed to the similarly disgraceful European Union as the country's sole Commissioner. EU Business has this report headlined 'Disgraced former British minister offered plum job in Brussels' with acres (or hectars more appropriately) of British press space devoted to the sordid past of the Blair invitee.

Amazingly enough! Having been offered the position last evening, it appears the rest of the us must wait to later this morning to hear whether he has deigned to accept it, or possibly until the new EU President can be somehow persuaded to accept such an unsavoury appointee.

It was hard to imagine the next lone British Commissioner offering as good a target for eurosceptics as the present two incumbents - it appears that somehow Blair has managedto contrive it for us! Even if the appointment is not confirmed - the fact that it was even offered beggars belief!

21 July 2004

The Plum Perks that cannot even make Promoting the EU practical

This article in the Belfast Telegraph linked here details the incredibly plush life within the corrupt EU organisation and the growing hopelessness of promoting its cause within the UK. It concludes as follows:-

The Parliament does not sit on a Friday. The outgoing Irish President of the Parliament, Pat Cox, protested: "There is zero evidence to support the claims of wrongdoing or a breach of the rules."

Somebody should gently take him aside and explain that perhaps the rules are at fault. His reaction to the critics displays the innate arrogance of many of the Commission's servants, an arrogance born of that body's secrecy and sheer unaccountability.

Commissioners, once appointed, cannot be touched - unless, as in the case of the disastrous Santer Commission, the Parliament is so outraged by scandal that it dismisses the lot.

The Commission is already on the back foot because fewer than half the electorate bothered to vote in the June European elections.

The danger facing it, after the success of the UK Independence Party in those elections, is that the notion of British withdrawal from the EU is no longer unmentionable as a serious item of debate.

Though still very much a minority view, it is now firmly on the political agenda.

The conclusion to be drawn from Jim Dougal's remarks is that, in the cocooned fastness of their Brussels suites, the senior officials of the Commission have little will, or idea how, to confront it.

Whistleblower Paul van Buitenen, MEP interviewed in Business Week

This Blog salutes Mr Van Buitenen, one of the few MEPs or indeed Westminster MPs for whom the word 'honour' does not nowadays just seem some sort of sick joke. The following is a brief extract from a timely and interesting interview, linked from here:-

Q: You were vindicated in 1999 by an independent investigation, which confirmed most of your claims about corruption in the EC. Will you launch a major confrontation if the outgoing commission refuses to sanction former Research Commissioner Edith Cresson for the abuses uncovered in 1999 in her directorate? [Cresson denies charges that she knew of or condoned any wrongdoing.]
I will not accept that nothing happens. If the commission's decision is to not discipline senior officials but to punish minor ones, I will expose everything. I will come forward with names and details of what happened. Any effort to cover up the fraud will backfire in the face of the commission.

There were fraudulent invoices, fraudulent allowences, fraudulent scientific accounts, forged documents -- and we're talking about hundreds of thousands of euros. There are also indications of political messages to influence magistrates. There is a 200-page report detailing structural wrongdoing. I still have copies of documents, even if I have delivered up a lot of them.

Q: Where are the documents:
In a vault in a bank.

20 July 2004

EU Parliament as seen by itself!

Check out the EU's own web-site description of the Parliament as the EU's latest delivery of effluent arrives in Strasbourg - from this link

19 July 2004

Financial Irregularities

DAVID Martin, the Scottish Labour MEP under investigation for alleged financial irregularities, is to end a 15-year spell as a senior vice-president of the European Parliament this week. The full report from The Herald is linked here.

Strasbourg stands-by for UKIP sceptics

Ian Black in The Guardian this morning, linked from here resorts to typical issue avoidance in a biased report on those who have the temerity to criticise the increasingly corrupt institutions of the EU. The article says more about the EU federalists increasing lack of arguments in a form of tabloid journalism worse than that it so weakly attacks.

The Sun's explanation of the impact of the EU Constitution in a special edition was far superior to anything I have so far seen issued by Black's own newspaper. A link will be provided to that supplement from here soon.

05 July 2004

Defending Democracy

The following letter was from an Irish MEP, typically we rarely see such strong defences of democracy from British MEPs:-

It was published in the Irish Examiner linked here.


Giscard’s outrageous constitution stance
AS outgoing MEP for the North West constituency I wish to express my concern at the recent statement by Giscard d’Estaing, on BBC2’s Newsnight.

He stated that if one country rejected the EU constitution then the union would look at the margin of rejection, re-explain the position as they had done in Nice II and put it to the people again.

Mr d’Estaing also said it was not acceptable for a member state which rejected the EU constitution to hold others back. He and the rest of the EU political elite ignore EU law and insult the democratic process when they say that rejection of the EU constitution by a sovereign member state is not acceptable.

He also makes it clear that the intention is to re-present the EU constitution to those who democratically reject it.

This is exactly what happened with the Nice treaty and it is an outrageous breach of the democratic process. Be warned: we are being told to keep voting ’til we get it right, or accept a two-tier Europe.

Why have our political leaders not publicly rejected Mr d’Estaing’s outrageous statements?

The Irish people deserve to know why our political leaders are determined to support this EU constitution without voicing the deep concerns of the threat it presents to our national sovereignty and constitution.

Over the past five years, I have been honoured to serve the constituents of the North West and, as an MEP, I have sought to uphold the values enshrined in Ireland’s constitution against the primacy of an EU constitution. Let’s wake up to danger that this EU constitution presents to our sovereignty.

Dana Rosemary Scallon
Colonial Buildings
Eglinton Street

02 July 2004

Paisley's Replacement MEP may join Eurosceptic Group

This report is from the Belfast Telegraph and is linked from here

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