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MEPs adopt ostrich position on self-imposed austerity
Date 12/04/2011 17:05  Author webmaster  Hits 3594  Language Global
By Marta Andreasen
Last week in Strasbourg the European Parliament decided to show its true colours following the rejection of a number of multi-million cost saving amendments contained in a report on estimates of revenue and expenditure for 2012.

In the vote, despite all the talk about the need for austerity, despite government cut-backs across the Member States and despite the fact that we are all in the midst of a severe financial crisis, MEPs decided to reject the following:

• An end to business class flights for flights less than 4 hours around Europe.
• A bid to stop increases in their General Expenditure Allowances (GEA)
• A review/revision of their Allowances including the Daily Allowance

They however voted in favour on:

• The principle of the multi-million pound House of European History
• Ending a zero tolerance policy towards fraud in favour of a ‘tolerable risk’ strategy.

By their actions, MEPs have proved – if indeed proof were needed – that when they speak of austerity measures it clearly only applies to everybody else.

Marie Antoinette’s fateful words ‘let them eat cake’ were ringing in my ears when I considered how people across Europe would react to this.

I would like to say I couldn’t believe the hypocrisy being displayed, but this is not the first time that MEPs have decided to stick their heads in the sand.

It is a pity but yet entirely predictable that when given the opportunity to lead by example and save millions and millions of Euros in the budget for 2012, the European Parliament prefers mounting costs and business as usual.

(You can read my comments in The Telegraph: MEPs vote to keep world beating salaries and allowances