Parliament’s cash payments send out wrong signal

The Parliamentary authorities are prolonging the outdated practice of paying out subsidies for group visits in cash.

Even the trappings of democracy in the European Union do not come cheap. The European Parliament spends more than €20 million a year paying for people to visit and to see it in action. The money supposedly recompenses those visitors for travel, meals and accommodation. Each MEP is entitled to bring more than a hundred constituents each year to watch the Parliament in action. According to figures released last week by the Parliament’s secretary-general, the bill went up by 10% between 2010 and 2011, from €19.3m to €21.3m.

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