Unaccountable MEPs Spent €6.2 million On Luxury Trips Abroad In Just Six Months

Members of the European Parliament spent more than $6.2 million on luxury trips abroad in the first half of 2015 alone, it has been revealed. The taxpayer cash was splurged on five-star hotels and first-class travel to exotic destinations, and comes on top of generous salaries and expenses. €4,890,385 of taxpayer cash was spent between January and June of last year on ferrying members to interparliamentary meetings in Latin America, Fiji, the Middle East and eastern Europe. Half of the cost went on MEPs’ expenses; another €685,000 was spent on officials’ expenses, and over a million euros paid for interpreters to facilitate the meetings. The sum accounted for 87 per cent of the parliament’s expected annual budget for such trips but, rather than rein in their excesses, a note on the parliament’s budgetary documents explains that “therefore, a transfer from the contingency reserve … will be necessary” to pay for members attending similar meetings in the latter half of 2015. Astonishingly, a five-day meeting between delegates from the European Parliament and those from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group delegation held in Fiji in June 2015 accounted for 24 per cent of the members’ travel expenses alone. Four British