Expenses: time to expose them


We are living in a material world, and I am a material girl, or uh… MEP?

David Cameron’s decision to expose the expenditure of his MEP’s has been met with mixed reactions. Some Conservative MEP’s have allegedly reacted badly. In a publication that was leaked to the BBC, they outlined what they thought of Cameron’s desire to seem more transparent. Apparently, the expenses plan would be “counterproductive" and break European Parliament rules.

If Cameron’s proposal were carried out, Conservative MEP’s would have to publish a full account of their expenditure to an independent accountant under European Parliament allowances, twice a year.  Moreover, Conservative MEP’s would have to reveal the names of any members of their family that are employed by them, their salaries and publish details of any other staff paid from public funds. Also, they would only be able to receive bonuses that add up to less than 15% of their annual salary and they would have to repay any surpluses from their own salaries. This does not seem like a lot to expect.

Our MEP’s are elected to influence policies in Europe for their party; they are not elected to use taxpayers' money to pay for lavish dinners, hotel suites and their staff. The fact that a minority of Conservative MEP’s are daring to complain about these measures is outrageous. It is totally hypocritical. Public funds should be spent on worthwhile schemes rather than to ensure MEP’s can fly first class.  The government continually increases taxes; there may be less need to if our taxes were prevented from going towards paying for your MEP’s second home in Brussels. David Cameron's plan will make it much harder for MEPs to abuse their constituents in this way.