More bad press for the EU: the MEPs are to receive an increase in their salaries. £35 million of around £48.5 million increase in their already hefty annual budget will go to thicken MEPs and EU official’s wallets. The Telegraph report noted that the MEPs cost three times as much as an MP in our Parliament. Are they worth thrice an MP?
This move demonstrates the corruption and self-interest of the EU, as well as the insult this represents. How much does the European Parliament really represent the wishes of the populace they purport to represent? As the objective of the European Parliament is little more than to rubber stamp European Commission proposals, they possess very little power to influence EU policy and it is effectively a smokescreen for the democratic deficit of the EU. MEPs exist to look as if there is democratic accountability overlooking EU policy when it is in actuality an impotent institution, through which “European” citizens are incapable of effecting change.
The Spectator noted a study that showed previous salary increases for MEPs did not make them attend legislative sessions more frequently or function better in their role (the European Parliament has a reputation for absenteeism, indeed it is frequently half-empty). The European Parliament already incurs huge waste with the shuttling between Brussels and Strasbourg at the expense of taxpayers, a further increase in their salaries at a time when the EU is telling its Member States to tighten their belts and accept austerity reveals their naked hypocrisy and contempt for the ordinary person. This absurdity must end once and for all.