MEP Cash Cow - Irish MEPS claim millions in expenses
An Irish Examiner investigation has found nine of Ireland’s eleven MEPs claimed €5.55m in expenses during the current five year term which averages out at more than €617,000 per representative . One MEP Brian Crowley refused to reveal his expenses.
MEPs can claim back massive sums without providing any receipts or evidence of spending, through the European Parliament’s expenses system. These include an automatic, €4,513 monthly general expenditure allowance, which is intended to cover computers and telephones, representation activities, conferences, and office rent even though MEPs are already provided with offices in Brussels and Strasbourg.
MEPS get a flat-rate “clocking-in” allowance of €320 for each day they attend Brussels or Strasbourg to cover accommodation and related costs, MEPs do not need to show any proof of how this is spent.
Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness has been the top claimant over the past five years claiming €709,625 in allowances and reimbursements.
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