Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Monday, 23 February 2009

Where's That Petrol Bomb ?

OK, what were you doing on the morning of 21st February 2008 ?

Well, I don't know about you but I was ranting. Ranting about the latest EU cover-up on MEPs' expenses.

Lib Dem Chris Davies had been allowed to see the report of an EU internal auditor. To see it he had to be a member of the relevant committee, subject himself to a biometrics test, be locked in a room and sign a confidentiality agreement. The EU was desperate to keep the report under wraps. And one year on, we now know why.

The Taxpayers' Alliance (TA) has obtained a leaked copy of the report. It is, as Chris Davies publicly stated at the time, dynamite. Via Devil's Kitchen, here are some extracts from the TA's press release, giving highlights of the report's findings.

  • Serious and repeated anomalies in payments for office assistance and services, including money being paid to seemingly irrelevant firms (including a creche and a company engaged in "the trading of wood"), and to companies which on further investigation did not exist, were untraceable or had registered no financial activity in their accounts. Some MEPs were found to be paying out their full assistance allowances, but had no assistants accredited or registered with the Parliament.
  • A culture of huge "bonuses" being paid to staff members or handling firms at the end of the financial year, ranging from 3 times to 19 and a half times the employees' monthly salaries.
  • Loose rules which allow payments to be made without invoicing, and only require bills to be provided 12 months after payment. The audit found that less than 5% of audited accounts actually submitted the required documentation by that 12 month deadline.
  • Widespread failure to comply with tax, company and social security laws. 79% of transactions that should have been subject to VAT displayed no evidence of either VAT payment or exemption. 83% of the companies through which MEPs paid their allowances for office services failed in their legal obligation to register with the Belgian national company database.
  • Evidence of MEPs using their allowances and expenses to bankroll their political parties is also revealed.

Small wonder that at the time Chris Davies said "I think the allegations within this report from our own auditors should lead to the imprisonment of a number of MEPs”. By comparison this makes our own MP's look positively law-abiding, which many are but some are not. It betrays systemic, institutionalised corruption and total contempt for EU citizens.

Davies was right - if all this is true then people should be locked up.

What will happen instead, however, is a bit fat zero.

Who fancies taking to the streets ?


Dick Puddlecote said...

Who fancies taking to the streets ?


Why was this not all over every newspaper's front page today?

Forget that, I don't know why I bothered asking.

Mrs Smallprint said...

The EU corrupts all it touches.