MEPs in Strasbourg have today voted to freeze their own allowances until mid-2014 and cap the travel budget at the present level in order to meet demands that all EU institutions cut their administrative spending.
Senior Liberal Democrat MEP and Vice President of the Parliament’s Budget Committee, George Lyon, who is pushing for the EU budget to be radically restructured and independently evaluated to find further savings, commented after the vote:
“At a time when people across the country struggle to make ends meet, it is important that MEPs show some leadership in keeping the Parliament’s costs under control.
“Freezing allowances and travel expenses is a good start. But I believe that we can make many more savings. In order to ensure that taxpayers are getting maximum value for their money, we need to have an independent evaluation of the EU budget to get rid of any inefficiencies and waste.
“I am very pleased that once again MEPs have also voted to push for a single seat of the European Parliament. It is an outrage that Member States still insist that the House travels between Brussels and Strasbourg each month. MEPs are quite right in calling for an urgent evaluation of this situation.”
Liberal Democrat MEPs have been on the forefront of the Single Seat Campaign which calls for the European Parliament to be permanently set up in Brussels. Liberal Democrat MEP and Vice President of the Parliament, Edward McMillan-Scott, who co-chairs the Single Seat Campaign and is launching an EU-wide public petition against its controversial ‘travelling circus’ added:
“Yet again the EP has today overwhelmingly supported moving to a Single Seat to save money. The pollution, cost, inefficiency and remoteness of this travelling circus are indeed indefensible. The 1.27 million people who signed up to the OneSeat petition in 2007, calling for the EP to be located only in Brussels, have been ignored by the EU. But Europe’s public today cannot be ignored against a backdrop of economic crisis and pressing environmental concerns.”