So David Cameron has insisted that the Tory MEPs should list their expense claims. A group of them have written a letter asking:

It reads: "We will … find that far from buying off criticism, the more we publish, the more questions will be asked.

"Could we have eaten in a cheaper restaurant? Did we need that extra half-pint of lager? Couldn\’t we find cheaper paper-clips?

Well, umm, yes perhaps?

To be honest, I\’m not quite sure I can believe that someone earning £60k a year, plus a hefty expenses package, would actully put a half of lager on an expenses claim. Yer average travelling salesman in the UK finds that (as per HMRC rules) alcohol is not an allowable expense (I think I\’m right in saying that it is if you\’re entertaining clients, not if not).

Further, I\’m not actually sure what they\’re talking about anyway. There\’s obviously some part of the gravy train that I don\’t understand. I thought there was a simple (if high) per diem for each day spent at the Parilament. Why are these expenses itemised (or even claimed) at all?

"Members may well change their behaviour under the rules. They may decide to drive to Brussels, claiming the full mileage allowance, rather than fly or take the train.

"They may decide not to go to Strasbourg at all – it as an enormous hassle and there will be little incentive to go.

Seriously? The claim is that without being able to fill their boots with expenses they wouldn\’t actually turn up to do their job?

"They may decide to buy an apartment in Brussels rather than rent or use hotels. In any case they will certainly trade up to business-class flights, obviating any saving for the tax-payer.

Erm, you mean that if you\’re not able to fiddle the difference between a cheap flight and an expensive one, you\’ll simply take the expensive flight anyway?

They\’re not really doing themselves any favours here are they?

 

8 thoughts on “MEPs Expenses”

  1. Tim, if memory serves there’s some obscure tax law that makes per diem expenses no longer possible, whether from higher costs or just legal fiat. Judging from my P11D, I suspect it’s because a per diem is likely taxable. In my company, some countries (Germany) still use per diem of course…

  2. Self serving, Quisling bastards. Not only do they go wholeheartedly along with selling us down the river (in direct contradiction to the wishes of most of those who elected them) they want to screw us of our cash as they do it.

  3. “…far from buying off criticism, the more we publish, the more questions will be asked.”

    This is a dangerous thing to be suggesting.

    We (the citizens) might decide that if they (the elected representatives) aren’t going to answer our legitimate questions, what’s the point in having them…?

    That’s the representatives, not the questions….

  4. Business entertainment comes straight of the top line and isn’t claimable against taxes.

    Indiviuals expenses can include alcohol (or could last time I checked) that is down to company policy. Expenses do need to be resonable though.

    When I travelled a lot I found it easier to use retaurants and cafes that gave one bill which said meal in the total, no arguments with petty officials.

  5. I for whatever reason you happen to be in Kansas City on expenses, check in with the Hyatt. Everything is ‘Dinner’…

  6. Yer average travelling salesman in the UK finds that (as per HMRC rules) alcohol is not an allowable expense (I think I’m right in saying that it is if you’re entertaining clients, not if not).

    Yer average oil and gas worker, even if employed by an extremely wealthy operating company, is not allowed to claim alcohol on expenses unless entertaining.

  7. I for whatever reason you happen to be in Kansas City on expenses, check in with the Hyatt. Everything is ‘Dinner’…

    When I worked in Le Meridien in Manchester, I used to put alcohol down as side dishes. By the end of a night, some blokes had “eaten” three portions of chips, two desserts, four salads…

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