Published On: Thu, Aug 10th, 2017

'We want our MONEY BACK' Tory MP rant at EU squandering taxpayers cash on lavish expenses



BrexitBBC • GETTY

EU Commissioners have only released two months worth of expenses


John Redwood lambasted the lack of transparency from the EU, who only released two months worth of expenses and even that had to be forced out of the EU Commission a complaint to an Ombudsman.

When asked about the expenses scandal, Mr Redwood said: “It does not shock me because I suspected this was going on all along.

“When I was a minister negotiating for Britain years ago, I used to go on the normal public transport plane at a normal fare but there were all sorts of executive jets on the tarmac including ones for commissioners.

“So it does not surprise me they are running up these very big bills. All the time British taxpayers are helping to pay for these bills, as we will until we leave. It is a matter of concern and I think they should be as transparent as the UK Government has to be.”

Helen Darbishire, Executive Director Access Info Europe was asked it she thinks the figures that have been released are shocking but she did not agree.

She continued: “I did a comparison with David Cameron’s expenditure for the same period and whereas for the Commissioners the average mission expense is £1,500, Mr Cameron’s was nearly three times that at £4,500 per mission.

“Theresa May’s for the first two months of 2017 come out at over £6,000 per mission. It is important to keep perspective.

“The Prime Minister’s trip to visit Donald Trump cost about £43,000 and it includes taking an RAF plane.

“Therefore these expenses are really quite reasonable and in line with what we would expect from government officials around Europe.”

Mr Redwood replied: “I do not think it is at all fair to take a head of state or the Government and compare that with a Commissioner, who is a senior official of the EU.

“The bigger item is the lack of transparency and the fact that these are very big budgets and we are having to pay a lot of money for them and one of the main reasons people voted to leave the EU is because they want that money back.

“We are desperate for that money for our hospitals, social care and other things where we would like to spend more. The sooner we are out the sooner we can get that money back.

“It is very important that we do not go on paying for this sort of thing the day after we have left.”

Ms Darbishire responded to say she agreed that the lack of transparency was an issue and that it was “unfortunate that the Commission did not make this information public sooner” as they work under a “pretty reasonable budget”.

The comments come after it emerged that Jean-Claude Juncker outrageous spent an astonishing £22,500 on a single trip in a private jet to Rome.

Mr Juncker was visiting the city for an informal meeting with the then Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi, which had been organised for some time, making it unclear why he could not take a charter flight.

EU spokespersonGETTY

The EU spokesperson was wrong according to Ms Derbishire

Eurocrats had desperately tried to withhold the information, claiming making travel expenses public would create an “excessive administrative burden”.

Yesterday, Deputy Chief Spokeswoman for the EU Commission Mina Andreeva said: “I think that we do publish expenses whenever we are asked to provide information.

“The EU budget has a section with administrative costs.”

That claim was immediately rebuffed by the chief of a body who has been desperately trying to get the EU to be transparent about expenses.

BBC NewsnightBBC

EU Commissioners expenses came to light yesterday

Ms Darbishire added: “We first filed a request about three years ago because we realised that no one had actually asked for this information.

“To correct what the spokesperson said in the press conference the information is not actually available. We asked for the information and we got some total numbers at first but there was a reluctance to release the actual details of the expenditure.

“We have had a battle to and fro as to why we should be given this and finally we have been given the expenses for the first two months of 2016. We asked for more than that, in fact made 120 requestors asked for the expenses for all of 2016.”



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