Greens/EFA slam EP's failure to adopt fairer pay and expenses regime
Green/EFA Euro MPs have voiced their profound disappointment with the European Parliament's failure to adopt proposals for a fairer and more transparent pay and expenses regime for MEPs.
Speaking after the vote in Strasbourg, Prof Neil MacCormick MEP (SNP - Scotland) said:
"It would be a disaster if the European Union fails to agree a statute for members during the lifetime of this parliament. Parliament must therefore put forward a statute that the Council can accept on behalf of all the States. Sweeping new immunities are not conducive to this. Nor is it acceptable to water down our commitments to a fully transparent expenses regime.
The basic principles of the amendments we tabled are transparency and fair play when it comes to members' pay and allowances. We want to see a fair system that can be understood and supported all over Europe. MEPs should be able to claim for the costs they incur in carrying out their work and should get a fair day's pay for a fair day's work. What people quite rightly object to is any suggestion that members can somehow gain undue financial profit from being an MEP. It is also only fair that MEPs pay income tax at the same rates as the constituents they represent.
We regret that Parliament threw out our amendments. In these circumstances we will vote to reject the package."
Kathalijne Buitenweg MEP (Greens -The Netherlands), Member of the Legal Affairs Committee, added:
"We are deeply disappointed with the outcome of today's vote on the statute for members. Parliaments' proposal is polluted by issues which should not be included, such as the question of immunity or the language regime. We regret that a majority of MEPs did not support the option of an additional tax on members over and above EU tax, if certain countries wish to do this. With this vote, Parliament is handing over a bitter pill to the Council who predictably will not swallow it. We have moved a step further away from the adoption of a Statute for Members and thereby further away from a more transparent system of remuneration, based on actual costs."