You won't find the following on the above link, but it appears in the press release circulated this evening...
The Galvin Report, named after Robert Galvin, the Internal Audit Official whose name is on its front cover, was written at the end of 2006 as an audit of the expenses and allowances claimed by a sample of more than 160 MEPs. The existence of the report was kept secret until February 2008 when news of its existence was made public by Chris Davies MEP. Even then, its contents remained secret and a select group of MEPs were only allowed to read the report individually in a locked and guarded room. Now published for the first time by the TaxPayers' Alliance, its findings include:
- 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. Large "layoff" payments were also made to MEPs' staff without justification being provided.
- 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. 90% of contracts for self-employed staff had no evidence of legally required social security payments being made. 26% of assistants and 64% of paying agent firms used to employee staff displayed no evidence of social security payments being made.
- Evidence of MEPs using their allowances and expenses to bankroll their political parties is also revealed. Many MEPs make set monthly payments to their own political party for secretarial support, but receive varying numbers of staff in return, which raises questions over whether the payments are really simply donations. Some MEPs are found to be claiming for projects such as web sites that are actually promoting their political party rather than their work as an MEP.
Given the amount that our MPs defraud the taxpayer, these revelations about MEPs—whom we have always suspected of living high on the hog far in excess of their national counterparts (and that's saying something)—are hardly surprising.
Depressing?—yes. Appalling?—yes. Surprising?—absolutely not.
And on to the second part of the TPA report, which discusses the vast pay rise which MEPs can expect after the next Euro-elections.
How an MEP can become a millionaire, and their planned 47% pay rise
New research for the TaxPayers' Alliance and The Great European Rip-Off reveals that MEPs stand to get a 47% increase in their take home pay this year. Through a combination of increasing pay levels, a new lower tax rate for all EU officials and the plunging value of the Pound to the Euro, politicians in Brussels will see their pay rise hugely despite the rising unemployment being suffered by their consituents. As well as their soaring pay, the new book demonstrates that over and above their salaries an MEP can personally earn a further £1 million during a typical Parliamentary term through their generous allowances and expenses. The research note can be read here [PDF].
- After the European Elections in June 2009, British MEPs stand to get a 47% increase in their take home pay. MEPs currently earn the same as a Westminster MP, £63,291, on which they pay British income tax of 26%, leaving them £46,835 in take home pay. Three crucial changes in their pay arragements will increase their salaries sizeably:
- After June, all MEPs will move to a new, standardised salary of €91,980—at 2008 exchange rates, that is a pay rise of 16% to £73,584.
- At the same time, they will cease to pay British income tax and will instead pay a new, reduced EU tax of only 15%, boosting their take home pay to €78,183. At 2008 exchange rates that means their after-tax pay will increase from £46,835 to £62,546—a 33% rise.
- The new MEPs' salary will be paid in Euros, which have gained greatly in value against Sterling since 2008. If exchange rates stay at around €1:88p, then MEPs will gain a further increase in take-home pay to £68,801. Going from earning £46,835 in take home pay currently to £68,801 under the new arrangements is a 47 per cent rise.
- It has been calculated that due to the generosity and laxity of the MEPs' allowances, expenses and pensions system, it is possible for an MEP to personally save enough money to become a millionaire over their 5-year term.
I think that it is time for a rallying cry and, as they go, I think that one of my bus slogans was rather good...
Our leaders are corrupt, useless cunts.
We are losing our jobs: it is time that they lost theirs.
Am I the only one sick to fucking death of these talentless fuckers dipping into our pockets the whole time? Surely not.
When is the revolution?