As British families prepare for another Christmas with concerns about the cost of living never far from their minds, Euro MPs are set to enjoy the festive season with a luxury subsidised meal.
The Jan Restaurant is offering MEPs a Christmas menu of pheasant, foie gras and quail eggs at just under £16 for three courses thanks to EU tax payers.
The Express reports that after a starter of coconut cream soup with smoked duck breast and truffle oil, legislators can choose from pheasant with foie gras and truffles or lobster au gratin.
For those who are still a bit peckish there are a range of side dishes including asparagus and samphire.
And since no MEP should go back to work on an empty stomach, particularly at Christmas time, there’s a choice of Yule Log or fruit salad for pudding.
MEPs line up for their luxury meal
As our photo shows, there’s no shortage of takers for the bargain buffet with MEPs this lunch time queuing out of the door to get their slice.
It’s not just at this time of the year that MEPs have these cut price choices, despite a salary of £78,000 a year, three times the national average.
All year round both MEPs and staff have access to numerous restaurants and bars serving meals including steak cooked to order for a fraction of the price charged in a restaurant. Champagne flows freely in the bars and a cup of tea costs pennies.
There is little need for them to leave the huge parliament complex, with a gym on site, complete with sauna and steam room, a hair dresser’s and a beauticians should anyone be in need of a massage to smooth away their tensions after a hard day in committee meetings.
And if you do need to go to your hotel, don’t worry about walking or having to catch the bus! There’s a chauffeur service laid on for you to make sure you never have to mix with the hoi polloi from the moment you arrive and sign in for your ‘daily allowance’ until you are taken back to catch your train home (special first class rates for parliamentary staff) or off to the airport.
The UKIP group leader in Brussels said, “Everyone likes a blow out at Christmas, but it takes a Eurocrat to expect the British taxpayer to pick up the tab.”
He added that he and his colleagues would not be taking advantage of the offer.
Andy Silvester of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said the menu showed how “out of touch” those in Brussels had become.
He said: “This is a ludicrous menu for the price, subsidised by families who find paying for their own Christmas lunch expensive enough without paying for anybody else’s.
The European Parliament authorities said the meal’s price was “eminently reasonable”.
MEPs are set to approve the final budget for the next Parliamentary term this month in Strasbourg. They have so far rejected all attempts by national parliaments to cut the budget and instead told finance ministers they are being unreasonable not to increase their funding.
Given how they spend it, tax payers shouldn’t be surprised that these turkeys will not be voting for Christmas.