TOM WISE, MEP: Hard hitting response to allegations in News of the World

PUBLISHED: 19:07 17 May 2008 | UPDATED: 08:29 02 June 2010

ON Sunday May 11 the News of the World printed an article in the course of a Brussels Exposed campaign. The article featured an undercover report about MEPs allowances and expenses, and drew upon comments made by me.

First of all I congratulate the New

ON Sunday May 11 the News of the World printed an article in the course of a "Brussels Exposed" campaign. The article featured an undercover report about MEPs allowances and expenses, and drew upon comments made by me.

First of all I congratulate the News of the World for exposing the matter, as was recently raised by the BBC in its NewsNight television programme. The bringing to the knowledge of the public the waste and profligacy of the European Union is what I, and the party I am still a member of, stand for.

If this is best achieved through attacking the remuneration of MEPs then so be it. There is abuse across the European Union with millions of Euros squandered of pointless, minority serving interests, and the system for remunerating MEPs is part of it.

A system exists for the payment of expenses and allowances to MEPs to attend parliamentary functions, to attend the Parliament buildings at Brussels and Strasbourg, and to cover the costs of carrying out an MEP's duties. The system is however, fundamentally flawed since it is not based upon the re-imbursement of actual expenses, but a series of tariffs universally applied. There is a culture of encouragement to claim that which is being lawfully made available to MEPs.

Where I differ from the majority of MEPs is that I am completely open about it.

I claim that which is made available to me, I do not fiddle, embezzle or otherwise operate any scam for the purposes of unlawfully extracting more than this. I believe that the system is disgraceful and should be changed (as in the EU itself and the UK's membership of it).

That the media is now informing the British public what is happening then I welcome it, and would be pleased to assist. It is unnecessary to seek to do so through entrapment and the publication of innuendo and slurs. I am not, as misreported, going around bragging, but I am being open about what I am lawfully paid - and that MEPs shouldn't be so paid.

TOM WISE, MEP


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