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MEPs opt to keep their business class flights
Date 07/04/2011 15:58  Author webmaster  Hits 974  Language Global
07 APR 2011

By Andrew Willis

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - MEPs have said parliament's budget should be increased by 2.3 percent next year, at the same time rejecting a proposal for euro-deputies to take more economy class flights in future.

Plans for the 2012 funding increase, contained in a report by centre-right MEP José Manuel Fernandes, were adopted on Wednesday (6 April) by 479 votes to 176, with 23 abstentions. The hike was earlier supported by parliament's budget committee, and comes despite a call for more modest one percent rise from the European Commission.

Defending the move, Portuguese euro-deputy Fernandes said the figure was well below the Union's current inflation rate of 2.8 percent, adding that further savings could be made during the implementation stage.

"We want all the expenses to be justified and we want the variable expenses to be subject to a cost-benefit analysis. Thus, we could also make savings in execution," he said in a statement.

The commission will include parliament's position in its overall EU budget proposals for next year, set to be published on 20 April. The Council of Ministers - the EU institution which represents member states - has said it plans to cut its 2012 budget by 4.4 percent.

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