Brussels “expenses scandal” not in same league as Westminster

The Office of the European Parliament has told Left Foot Forward that there is no scandal, and the system in Brussels is nothing like the one in Britain.

Following reports that the European Union is about to face “an expenses scandal that could dwarf” that in Westminster, the Office of the European Parliament has told Left Foot Forward that there is no scandal, and the system in Brussels is nothing like the one in Britain.

Last week The Daily Telegraph published an article about the parliament’s recovery of £3 million of “wrongly claimed” allowances, without explaining the process involved.

Whereas MPs submitted claims to the fees office, for which they were reimbursed, MEPs and staff are given allowances in advance; receipts are then submitted and the difference either recovered or paid out, explained a spokesman for the European Parliament.

He said:

“There may have been individual cases of expenses abuses, but it’s not widespread. MEPs and their staff are not routinely submitting spurious expense claims.

“Indeed the European parliament commissioned a report to look into this, and where there are weaknesses in the system and loopholes, they should be fixed, but the system here is simply not like that in the House of Commons.”

On the way the issue is reported by the Eurosceptic press, the spokesman added:

“I’m not saying everything the Telegraph writes [about Europe] is wrong, it’s just biased, they never give the whole story, it’s not a balanced view.”

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