Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Tory MEPs support EU cover-up

Last Tuesday, the European Parliament voted against the publication of a report by its auditors which has revealed widespread abuse by MEPs of funds intended to be used for the payment of their staff.

The Parliament pays €427,720 each year into the pension fund of the members concerned, and they are supposed to make a private contribution of a further €13,860 each year.

However, it is believed that a significant number of MEPs pay their personal contributions from money allocated for their parliamentary duties - a practice described as "embezzlement" by whistleblower LibDem MEP Chris Davies.

Chris, who had earlier this year revealed the existence of the secret auditors' report, described today's series of votes on the Parliament's budget as "shameful".

He said: "These votes bring discredit and dishonour upon the entire Parliament. Far from cleaning up their act, a majority of MEPs seem intent on allowing greed and self-interest to triumph over the proper financial management of public money.

"On today's performance Europe's taxpayers could be forgiven for believing that there are more honest people to be found in prison than sit amongst us in the European Parliament.

"Political parties in each member state must now take the initiative and insist that no candidate stands in next year's European elections unless they are pledged to support reform."

Labour MEPs largely supported the Liberal Group's position, but Tories either abstained or voted against. For all his rhetoric against the European gravy-train, Robert Kilroy-Silk was even more resolute against disclosure.

A summary of the voting patterns is attached as a comment.

1 comment:

Frank H Little said...

Labour MEPs generally voted in favour of the Lib Dem position. Of the following amendments the following voting pattern for UK MEPs was observed:

(LDEPP = Lib Dems; EPLP = Labour)

++++++

Amendment 1 on Setting up and Assistants Statute Working Group:

All LDEPP voted in favour, EPLP voted against and Tories abstained. From UKIP Booth, Clark, Knapman, Nattrass, Titford, Wise all voted against. Kilroy Silk and Mote also voted against.

++++++

Amendment 13 on "....to ensure that the new statute for assistants is adopted before the next European elections in June 2009;":

All LDEPP voted in favour, EPLP voted in favour, Tories abstained except Beazley, Hannan and Helmer who voted against. From UKIP: Booth, Clark, Knapman, Nattrass, Titford, Wise all voted against. Kilroy Silk also voted against. Mote abstained.

+++++

Amendment 16 on making the internal auditor's report available to all Members and to the public:

LDEPP voted in favour as did EPLP and Tories, except for Beazley (voted with rest of EPP against) and Helmer. From UKIP: Booth, Clark, Knapman and Titford voted in favour, but Nattrass and Wise voted against. Kilroy Silk also voted against. Mote abstained.

+++++

Amendment 2 "internal audit reports should be made public":

All LDEPP voted in favour except Emma Nicholson. EPLP voted against. Tories abstained except Hannan and Beazley who voted against. From UKIP: Booth, Clark, Knapman, Nattrass, Sinnott, Titford, Wise all voted in favour. Kilroy Silk and Mote abstained.

+++++

Amendment 8 on publication of those receiving voluntary pension fund:

All LDEPP voted in favour except Emma Nicholson who voted against. EPLP also voted in favour. All Tories voted against expect Jonathan Evans who abstained. From UKIP: Booth, Clark, Knapman, Nattrass, Titford, Wise all voted in favour. Mote and Kilroy Silk abstained.

+++++

Amendment 9: "Is critical of the failure of the members of the voluntary pension fund to supply proof... that their contributions deducted from the general expenditure allowance have been repaid from a private source of income, stresses that they risk being accused of seeking a hidden source of additional income":

All LDEPP voted in favour. EPLP also voted in favour. Tories abstained except Beazley, Hannan and Helmer who voted against. From UKIP: Booth, Clark, Nattrass, Titford, Wise all voted in favour. Kilroy Silk and Mote abstained.