The shocking profligacy of the European bureaucracy has been exposed again after a UKIP Member of European Parliament tweeted a photograph of a mountain of iPad boxes discarded in a corridor in Brussels, which housed goods worth thousands of pounds.
Although it is not immediately clear who the gadgets were given to, James Carver MEP photographed 106 of them, meaning that single order of pads would have cost taxpayers some £26,500, but this is not the first time the parliament has shown a fondness for Apple goods.
Although EU officials would not specify Apple by name; “in parliament we cannot speak about brands”, it was widely reported in 2010 that as the then newly elected parliament settled in a mammoth order for ‘computer tablets’ was going to buy iPad tablets for all MEPs. At 2010 prices of £699, or roughly £550 for a top model for all 736 members of the parliament that would have cost taxpayers over £400,000.
Carver, who was elected as a West Midlands MEP this year was reported by the Daily Express as being unimpressed with the purchase, saying “The Brussels parliament is already seen as a money pit and this sort of flagrant waste only serves to underline it. Thousands of pounds have been frittered away on luxury gadgets for staff who already work in a building stocked with computers. This sort of needless indulgence has to stop”.
Pile of IPAD empty boxes on corridor in EP Brussels yesterday – No doubt, taxpayer funded -Eurocrats can’t be subtle! pic.twitter.com/XDGoEjcMIo
— James Carver MEP (@JamesJimCarver) September 10, 2014
The European Union has become a byword for wanton waste over years past, with its various bodies, legislatures and bureaus engaging in pet spending projects and nest-feathering. Official EU figures related to the renewal of the European Development Fund this year showed that the second greatest expense made by this project to help develop war-torn Somalia was actually not on aid, but for private flights for EU officials.
A 2009 report by think tank Open Europe named and shamed a number of more unusual ways the EU fritters money away, including a website called ‘Donkeypedia’, a hemp (Cannabis) farm, and a puppet theatre.