Hard-Pressed MEPs Decide To Give Themselves A Pay Rise

Patrick Seeger / AFP
Patrick Seeger / AFP

MEPs have graciously awarded themselves an extra €18,000 annually to spend on assistants, meaning the EU will spend €207 million (£149 million) a year on personal assistants by 2016.

The seven per cent raise means each and every MEP will receive an annual staffing budget of €275,000, The Times reports.

The European parliament is the only EU institution that refuses to publish internal audits on its spending, which totals €1.8 billion annually. Uniquely, MEPs oversee their own spending, despite rulings to the contrary by the European Court of Justice.

A sitting MEP in the European parliament costs £1.79 million a year – three times more than an MP in the House of Commons – mainly due to the generous expenses policy.

“Europe’s economy is floundering, Greece is in meltdown, yet a majority here seem to think the priority for public spending should be better-paid staff for their offices,” said Ashley Fox, the leader of Britain’s Conservative MEPs in the EU assembly.

“This shows exactly why things need to change in Europe,” he said.